Amendment 105 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NOAA Fisheries publishes regulations to implement Amendment 105 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. Amendment 105 and its implementing regulations establish a process for Western Alaska Community Development Quota groups, and cooperatives established under the Amendment 80 Program, to exchange harvest quota from one of three flatfish species (flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole) for an equal amount of another of these three flatfish species, while maintaining total catch below acceptable biological catch limits. This final rule modifies the annual harvest specifications process to allow the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to establish the maximum amount of flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole that may be exchanged based on social, economic, or biological considerations.
This action is necessary to mitigate the operational variability, environmental conditions, and economic factors that may constrain the CDQ groups and Amendment 80 cooperatives from achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield in the BSAI groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the BSAI FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and other applicable law.