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National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Regional Office

Restricted Access Management Program Applications

Alaska Fisheries Permit Applications and Instructions

NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Region cannot provide legal advice on estate or tax planning. The regulations pertaining to the Pacific halibut and sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program instruct the Agency on how Quota Share issued under this program and held by an individual will be distributed upon the death of the individual. Specifically federal regulations at 50 CFR 679.41(k) provide:

(k) Survivorship transfer privileges

  • (1) On the death of an individual who holds QS or IFQ, the surviving spouse or, in the absence of a surviving spouse, a beneficiary designated pursuant to paragraph (k)(2) of this section, receives all QS and IFQ held by the decedent by right of survivorship, unless a contrary intent was expressed by the decedent in a will. The Regional Administrator will approve an Application for Transfer to the surviving spouse or designated beneficiary when sufficient evidence has been provided to verify the death of the individual.
  • (2) QS holders may provide the Regional Administrator with the name of a designated beneficiary from the QS holder's immediate family to receive survivorship transfer privileges in the event of the QS holder's death and in the absence of a surviving spouse.
  • (3) The Regional Administrator will approve, for 3 calendar years following the date of death of an individual, an Application for Transfer of IFQ from the surviving spouse or, in the absence of a surviving spouse, from a beneficiary from the QS holder's immediate family designated pursuant to paragraph (k)(2) of this section to a person eligible to receive IFQ under the provisions of this section, notwithstanding the limitations on transfers of IFQ in paragraph (h)(2) of this section.

NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Region, Restricted Access Management (NMFS/AKR/RAM) Program implements this provision as follows:

  • A) A probated Will for the deceased individual QS holder always takes precedence. The beneficiaries named in the Will DO NOT receive survivorship transfer privileges under the provisions of 50 CFR 679.41(k). NMFS/AKR/RAM will transfer QS to a beneficiary named in the QS holder's Will under an approved application submitted to NMFS by a Personal Representative appointed by a court. However, if the beneficiary named in the Will is not eligible to receive QS by transfer [eligibility criteria can be found at 40 CFR 679.41(d)] the QS will be transferred as "restricted" in accordance with 50 CFR 679.41(g) and no annual IFQ will be issued to the beneficiary. However, remaining IFQ will be available to transfer to an eligible person.
  • B) If the QS holder had no Will, the QS can be transferred to the QS holder's surviving spouse with survivorship privileges under 50 CFR 679.41(k). The surviving spouse will have the ability to lease out the annual IFQ for a period of three years from the date of the QS holder's death. At the end of that three year period, if the surviving spouse is not eligible to receive the QS by transfer [see 50 CFR 679.41(d)] the surviving spouse will not be issued IFQ and will be required to transfer the QS to an individual that does meet transfer eligibility requirements.
  • C) If the QS holder has no Will and no surviving spouse, but the deceased QS Holder previously provided NMFS/AKR/RAM with the name of a single immediate family member as his or her IFQ program beneficiary on a completed "QS/IFQ Beneficiary Designation Form," the individual named on the completed QS/IFQ Beneficiary Designation Form" submitted to NMFS/AKR/RAM will receive the QS with survivorship privileges. That individual will have the ability to lease out the annual IFQ for a period of three years from the date of the QS holder's death. At the end of that three year period, if the beneficiary is not eligible to receive the QS by transfer [see 50 CFR 679.41(d)] (s)he will not receive IFQ and will be required to transfer the QS to an individual that does meet transfer eligibility requirements. Note that this type of beneficiary is specific to the IFQ Program, and different from that named by the deceased in a Will.

For purposes of this provision, "Immediate Family Member" means an individual in the QS Holder's immediate family such as a parent, a child, a brother, a sister, an aunt, an uncle, a grandparent, etc. and includes step-, foster-, and adoptive children and siblings.


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