Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) Control Rule

Allowable Biological Catch (ABC) Control Rule

Purpose of Amendment: To modify the ABC Control Rule to address flexibility allowed under the MSA and revise how uncertainty and risk tolerance are addressed in setting ABCs. 

Action Summary: modify the ABC Control Rule, including specification of scientific uncertainty and management risk components, application of the Control Rule to rebuilding stocks, criteria and procedures for phase-in of ABC changes, criteria and procedures for carry-over of unused portions of the annual catch limit, and establishment a framework procedure to allow carry-overs. 

Key Events: 

  • December 2016: Council directed staff to begin work on a plan amendment  
  • 2017 and 2018: Council and SSC provided guidance on various aspects of the amendment 
  • January 2019: scoping hearings were held 
  • March 2019: Council reviewed scoping comments 
  • December 2020 and March 2021: Council provided additional guidance to staff.  
  • October 2020 and April 2021: SSC reviewed topics related to this amendment and provided recommendations to the Council.  
  • March 2021: The Council reviewed part of the actions and alternatives language.  
  • September 2021: Council received additional comments from the SSC, reviewed the remainder of the actions and alternatives language, and provided further guidance for development of the draft amendment. 
  • June 2022: Council will review a draft amendment and consider approving for public hearings. 



Staff Contact

Council Process

  • Pre-Scoping:  2018
  • Scoping:  January 2019
  • Public Hearing:  
  • Final Approval:  

NMFS Process

  • Secretarial Review:  
  • Rule Making:  
  • Implementation: