Acronyms and Abbreviations

ABC Acceptable Biological Catch – The ABC is an annual catch level recommended by a Council’s SSC. The Council’s ACL for a stock may not exceed the ABC recommendation of the SSC for that stock. The SSC’s ABC recommendation should incorporate consideration of the stock’s life history and reproductive potential, vulnerability to overfishing, and the degree of uncertainty in the science upon which the ABC recommendation is based.
ACL Annual Catch Limits – The MSRA of 2006 established new requirements to end and prevent overfishing through the use of ACLs and accountability measures (AMs). Federal fishery management plans must establish mechanisms for ACLs and AMs by 2010 for stocks subject to overfishing and by 2011 for all others. The Act also specified additional requirements for the role of scientific advice in this process, specifically through the Councils’ Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSCs).
ADF&G Alaska Department of Fish and Game – The ADF&G’s mission is to protect, maintain, and improve the fish, game, and aquatic plant resources of the state, and manage their use and development in the best interest of the economy and the well-being of the people of the state, consistent with the sustained yield principle.
AFA American Fisheries Act – The AFA was signed into law in October of 1998, the purpose of which was was to tighten U.S. ownership standards that had been exploited under the Anti-reflagging Act, and to provide the BSAI pollock fleet the opportunity to conduct their fishery in a more rational manner while protecting non-AFA participants in the other fisheries. 
AFSC Alaska Fisheries Science Center (formerly called the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center, NWAFC) – The mission of the AFSC is to generate the scientific information necessary for the conservation, management, and utilization of the region’s living marine resources.
AI Aleutian Islands – see BSAI
AP Advisory Panel (part of the NPFMC) – The AP members represent major segments of the fishing industry; catching and processing, subsistence and commercial fishermen, observers, consumers, environmental/conservation, and sport fishermen. The AP consists of 21 members, all of which serve three-year staggered terms (January 1 through December 31). These members may be reappointed or replaced by the Council annually at their December Council meeting.
APA Administrative Procedures Act – USC, Title 5, Part 1, Chapter 5 – The APA spells out certain administrative procedures for governmental agencies.
BS Bering Sea – see BSAI
BiOp Biological Opinion – Under ESA section 7, all Federal agencies are required, “in consultation with and with the assistance of the Secretary, to insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by such agency is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any threatened or endangered species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat.” Thus, before a permit can be issued, “a written statement setting forth the Secretary’s opinion and a summary of the information on which the opinion is based” that the issuance of the permit is not likely to jeopardize any protected species must be obtained.
BSAI Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands – Those waters of the EEZ off the west coast of Alaska lying south of Point Hope (68°21′ N. lat), and extending south of the Aleutian Islands for 200 nm west of Scotch Cap Light (164°44’36” W. long).
C/P Catcher Processor – A vessel that is used for catching fish and processing that fish.
C/V Catcher Vessel – A vessel that is used for catching fish but does not process that fish on board.
CDP Community Development Plan – A business plan for the economic and social development of a specific Western Alaska community or group of communities under the CDQ program.
CDQ Community Development Quota – The Western Alaska CDQ Program allocates a percentage of all BSAI quotas for groundfish, prohibited species, halibut, and crab to eligible communities, the purpose of which is to provide the means for starting or supporting commercial fisheries business activities that will result in an ongoing, regionally based, fisheries-related economy in Western Alaska.
CH Critical Habitat – Specific areas within a geographical area occupied by a species at the time of listing, if they contain physical or biological features essential to conservation, and those features may require special management considerations or protection; and specific areas outside a geographical area occupied by a species if the agency determines that the area itself is essential for conservation.
CPUE Catch Per Unit Effort – A measure of the density or population size of an animal that is targeted by fishing. Large CPUEs indicate large populations since many individuals are caught for every unit of fishing effort.
CPY Current Potential Yield – The current potential catch that can be safely taken and depends on the current abundance of fish and population dynamics of the stock.
CVOA Catcher Vessel Operational Area – The area South of 56°00′ N lat between 163°00′ W and 167°30′ W long.
EA Environmental Assessment –  A concise public document for which a Federal agency is responsible that serves to: Briefly provide sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an EIS or a FONSI. It also aids an agency’s compliance with the MSFCMA when no environmental impact statement is necessary and facilitates preparation of a statement when one is necessary.
EBS Eastern Bering Sea
EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone (formerly called the Fishery Conservation Zone, FCZ) – The control of the oceans is currently regulated by the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention that went into effect on November 16, 1994. This law defines oceanic jurisdiction for all nations and establishes the principle of a 200-nautical-mile limit on a nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) whereby a nation controls the undersea resources, primarily fishing and seabed mining, for a distance of 200 nautical miles from its shore.
EFH Essential Fish Habitat – In 1996 Congress added new habitat provisions to the MSFCMA, the federal law that governs U.S. marine fisheries management. Under the MSFCMA, each fishery management plan must describe and identify EFH for the fishery, minimize to the extent practicable the adverse effects of fishing on EFH, and identify other actions to encourage the conservation and enhancement of EFH. EFH has been broadly defined by the Act to include “those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity”.
EIS Environmental Impact Statement – Many laws and Presidential executive orders impose requirements for environmental and socio-economic analysis on the rulemaking process. NEPA requires all federal agencies to prepare an EIS for proposed major actions that significantly affect the quality of the human environment. The EIS requirement includes the public in the federal agency decision-making process. The primary purpose of an EIS is to serve as an action-forcing device to insure that the policies and goals defined in the MSFCMA are infused into the ongoing programs and actions of the federal government. EIS means a detailed written statement as required by section 102(2)(C) of the MSFCMA. 
EPA Environmental Protection Agency – The EPA’s mission is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment — air, water, and land — upon which life depends.
ESA Endangered Species Act – Enacted in 1973, the purposes of the ESA is to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and conventions set forth in the ESA.
F Fishing mortality rate – That part of the total mortality rate applying to a fish population that is caused by fishing. Fishing mortality is usually expressed as an instantaneous rate.
F/T Factory Trawler – Vessels which catch and process their fish in factories installed below the boat’s trawl deck.
FMP Fishery Management Plan – FMP’s are mandated under the provisions of Title III of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-265). Under the MSFCMA, each Council shall, for each fishery under its authority that requires conservation and management, prepare and submit to the Secretary (A) a fishery management plan, and (B) amendments to each such plan that are necessary from time to time (and promptly whenever changes in conservation and management measures in another fishery substantially affect the fishery for which such plan was developed).
FONSI Finding of No Significant Impact – A document by a Federal agency briefly presenting the reasons why an action, not otherwise excluded, will not have a significant effect on the human environment and for which an environmental impact statement therefore will not be prepared.
GOA Gulf of Alaska – That portion of the EEZ contained in Statistical Areas 610, 620, 630, 640, and 650.
GRS Groundfish Retention Standard – The GRS program applied to non-AFA trawl C/Ps equal to or greater than 125 ft LOA. The GRS program required each of these vessels to retain and utilize a minimum amount of groundfish caught during the calendar year.
H & G Head and Gut – A product that the H&G Catcher Processors produce which entails heading and gutting the fillet, also known as kirimi.
HAPC Habitat Areas of Particular Concern – Amendment 55 to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s two groundfish FMPs defined EFH as all habitat within a general distribution for a species life stage, for all information levels and under all stock conditions. HAPC’s were identified as living substrates in shallow and deep waters, and freshwater habitats used by anadromous fish. Habitat areas of particular concern are those areas of special importance that may require additional protection from adverse effects. HAPC is defined on the basis of its ecological importance, sensitivity, exposure, and rarity of the habitat.
IBQ Individual Bycatch Quota – IBQs have been suggested as a way to control bycatch rates. According to the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council, “Tradable IBQs mean that high-bycatch fishermen must pay extra costs to continue fishing, which may encourage them to exit the fishery or change their method of fishing or fishing areas to reduce bycatch.
ICA Incidental Catch Allowance – An allowance of catch, retained or discarded, caught incidental to the target fishery.
IFQ Individual Fishing Quota – An IFQ is a federal permit to harvest a quantity of fish, usually expressed as a percentage of a fishery’s total allowable catch, that may be held for exclusive use by a person or corporation. Under an IFQ system, fishing privileges are allocated to individual participants in the fishery. A person’s quota share represents a percentage of the Total Allowable Catch in the fishery and can be leased, sold or transferred.
IPHC International Pacific Halibut Commission – The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), originally called the International Fisheries Commission, was established in 1923 by a Convention between the governments of Canada and the United States of America. Its mandate is research on and management of the stocks of Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) within the Convention waters of both nations.
IR/IU Improved Retention/Improved Utilization – Federal Fishing Regulations Part 679: Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska § 679.27. Improved Retention/Improved Utilization Program states that the owner or operator of a vessel that is required to obtain a Federal fisheries or processor permit under § 679.4 must comply with the IR/IU program set out in this section while fishing for groundfish in the GOA or BSAI, fishing for groundfish in waters of the State of Alaska that are shoreward of the GOA or BSAI, or when processing.
ITAC Initial Total Allowable Catch – The ITAC for each species is the remainder of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) after the subtraction of reserves.
IWC International Whaling Commission – The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling was signed in Washington DC on 2 December 1946, the purpose of which is to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.
LAPP Limited Access Privilege Program – The MSRA of 2006 authorizes that a Council may submit, and the Secretary may approve, for a fishery that is managed under a limited access system, a LAPP to harvest fish if the program meets the requirements of the Act. 
LLP License Limitation Program – The LLP went into effect on January 1, 2000. The overall purpose of the LLP is to help resolve the competing and often times conflicting needs of the domestic fisheries that developed under open access and to close the gap between fishing capacity and the available fishery resource. The LLP limits the number, size, and specific operation of vessels fishing crab and groundfish in the BSAI and GOA based on historical participation.
LOA Length Overall of a Vessel – The centerline longitudinal distance, rounded to the nearest foot, measured between: (1) The outside foremost part of the vessel visible above the waterline, including bulwarks, but excluding bowsprits and similar fittings or attachments, and (2) The outside aftermost part of the vessel visible above the waterline, including bulwarks, but excluding rudders, outboard motor brackets, and similar fittings or attachments.
LTPY Long-term potential yield – The maximum long-term average yield that can be achieved through conscientious stewardship, by controlling F through regulating fishing effort or total catch levels. LTPY is a reference point for judging the potential of the resource.
M Natural mortality rate – That part of total mortality applying to a fish population that is caused by factors other than fishing. It is common practice to consider all sources together since they usually account for much less than fishing mortality. It is usually expressed as an instantaneous rate.
MMPA Marine Mammal Protection Act – The MMPA established a moratorium, with certain exceptions, on the taking of marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas, and on the importing of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the United States.
MRA Maximum Retainable Allowance – An maximum amount, usually a percentage of fish a vessel is allowed to retain.
MSFCMA
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 – The MSFCMA was enacted to provide for the conservation and management of the fisheries and is the principal law governing marine fisheries in the United States. It was adopted to extend control of U.S. waters to 200 nautical miles in the ocean; to phase out foreign fishing activities within this zone; to prevent overfishing, especially by foreign fleets; to allow overfished stocks to recover; and to conserve and manage fishery resources.
MSRA Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 – On January 12, 2007, President Bush signed the MSRA of 2006. The new law mandates the use of  ACLs and accountability measures to end overfishing, provides for widespread market-based fishery management through limited access privilege programs, and calls for increased international cooperation.
MSY Maximum Sustainable Yield – MSY is the largest long-term average catch or yield that can be taken from a stock or stock complex under prevailing ecological, environmental conditions and fishery technological characteristics (e.g., gear selectivity), and the distribution of catch among fleets. MSY is usually estimated in stock assessments.
MT Metric Tons – Equivalent to 1,000 kilograms or 2,205 pounds.
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act – An Act to declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality. NEPA is our basic national charter for protection of the environment. It establishes policy, sets goals and provides means for carrying out the policy and contains “action-forcing” provisions to make sure federal agencies act according to the letter and spirit of the Act.
NMFS National Marine Fisheries Service – A federal agency and a division of the Department of Commerce,  which is responsible for the stewardship of the nation’s living marine resources and their habitat. NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the management, conservation and protection of living marine resources within the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone (water three to 200 mile offshore).  
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – NOAA conducts research and gathers data about the global oceans, atmosphere, space, and sun, and applies this knowledge to science and service that touch the lives of all Americans.
NPFMC North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC or Council) – The Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, when amended on October 11, 1996, established a U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) which ranges between 3 and 200 miles offshore, and created eight regional fishery councils to manage the living marine resources within that area. The Act was passed principally to address heavy foreign fishing, promote the development of a domestic fleet and link the fishing community more directly to the management process. The NPFMC is one of the eight regional councils and is composed of 15 members; 11 voting and 4 non-voting. Seven of the voting members are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce upon the recommendation of the governors of Alaska and Washington. The Governor of Alaska nominates candidates for five seats, the Governor of Washington two seats. Each member is appointed to a three-year term and may be reappointed, but may not exceed three consecutive terms.
OFL Overfishing Level – The OFL is the best estimate of the maximum amount of a stock that can be caught in a year without resulting in overfishing. The OFL is an amount of catch calculated from the estimate of biomass for a year and the maximum rate of fishing mortality that does not result in overfishing. Catch equal to OFL results in equal probability that overfishing is or is not occurring.
OSP Optimum Sustainable Population – the number of animals which will result in the maximum productivity of the population or the species, keeping in mind the optimum carrying capacity of the habitat and the health of the ecosystem of which they form a constituent element.
OY Optimum Yield – The amount of fish that will provide the greatest overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect to food production and recreational opportunities and taking into account the protection of marine ecosystems. Under the MFCMA, OY cannot exceed MSY.
PICES North Pacific Marine Science Organization – PICES is an intergovernmental scientific organization, established in 1992 to promote and coordinate marine research in the northern North Pacific and adjacent seas. Its present members are Canada, Japan, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America.
POP Pacific Ocean Perch – A Rockfish that lives over soft ocean bottoms and near reefs from the Bering Sea to LaJolla, California. Its skin is carmine red with black markings, and grows to approximately 18 inches in length.
PSC Prohibited Species Catch – Non retainable catch which it can be a prohibited or non groundfish species and/or a fully utilized groundfish species captured incidentally in groundfish fisheries.
PT Plan Team – The Plan Team is part of the NPFMC whose primary function is to provide the NPFMC with the best available scientific information, including scientifically based recommendations regarding appropriate measures for the conservation and management of the GOA and BSAI groundfish fisheries, BSAI crab fisheries, Scallop fisheries and the AI Ecosystem. The Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports for the groundfish fisheries managed by the NPFMC are compiled by the Plan Teams from chapters contributed by scientists at NMFS’ AFSC and the ADF&G.
RAY Recent Average Yield – Equivalent to recent average catch.
RFA Regulatory Flexibility Act – The RFA requires federal agencies to review regulations for their impact on small businesses and consider less burdensome alternatives.
RIR Regulatory Impact Review – The RIR is a component of Executive Order 12866 which was intended to improve regulatory planning and coordination in federal agencies. The executive order states that agencies should submit detailed cost-benefit analyses to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for all economically significant regulatory actions.  The order also states that all regulatory actions that are significant for non economic reasons should have an “assessment of costs and benefits.” The regulatory philosophy of Executive Order 12866 stresses that in deciding whether and how to regulate, agencies should assess all costs and benefits of all regulatory alternatives and choose those approaches that maximize net benefits to the society.
SAFE Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation – An annually prepared document by Council Plan Teams that presents both biological and economic fishery information.
SEIS Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement — see EIS.
SFA Sustainable Fisheries Act – Enacted on October 11, 1996, the SFA amended the MSFCMA to include numerous provisions requiring science, management and conservation action by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
SPR Spawning Potential Ratio – This percentage of the unfished level.
SSB Spawning Stock Biomass Spawning – The total weight of all sexually mature fish in the population. This quantity depends on year class abundance, the exploitation pattern, the rate of growth, fishing and natural mortality rates, the onset of sexual maturity and environmental conditions.
SSB/R Spawning Stock Biomass-Per-Recruit – The expected lifetime contribution to the spawning stock biomass for a recruit of a specific age (e.g., per age 2 individual). For a given exploitation pattern, rate of growth, and natural mortality, an expected equilibrium value of SSB/R can be calculated for each level of F.
SSC Science and Statistical Committee (part of the NPFMC) – The SSC is composed of leading scientists in biology, economics, statistics, and social science.  The SSC advises the Council on scientific and other technical matters. The SSC has 15 members, all of which serve one-year terms (January 1 through December 31). These members may be reappointed or replaced by the Council annually at their December Council meeting.
TAC Total Allowable Catch – The harvest quota for a species or species group; the retainable catch. Or, the total regulated catch from a stock in a given time period, usually a year.
USFWS U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – The mission of the USFWS is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
VIP Vessel Incentive Program – A vessel incentive program (VIP) was implemented for the North Pacific groundfish trawl fisheries in the early 1990s. The VIP established fishery specific seasonal bycatch rate standards for Pacific halibut and red king crab, which are prohibited species caught incidental to commercial fishing operations. Individual vessels were required to comply with these standards or be subject to prosecution. Eventually, more effective bycatch reduction programs were developed and the VIP was abandoned in favor of sector or fishery cooperative specific allocations of prohibited species.
VMS Vessel Monitoring System – On January 8, 2002, an emergency interim rule (67 FR 956) was issued by NMFS to implement Steller sea lion protection measures and 2002 harvest specifications. All vessels using pot, hook-and-line or trawl gear in the directed fisheries for pollock, Pacific cod or Atka mackerel were required to have an endorsement on their federal fisheries permit. Section 679.7(a)(18) requires all vessels using pot, hook-and-line or trawl gear that are permitted to directly fish for Pacific cod, Atka mackerel or pollock to have an operable VMS, which is necessary to monitor fishing restrictions in Steller sea lion protection and forage areas.