Amendment 111 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NOAA Fisheries issues this final rule to implement Amendment 111 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. This final rule reduces bycatch limits, also known as prohibited species catch limits, for Pacific halibut in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands groundfish fisheries by specific amounts in four groundfish sectors: The Amendment 80 sector (non-pollock trawl catcher/processors); the BSAI trawl limited access sector (all non-Amendment 80 trawl fishery participants); the non-trawl sector (primarily hook-and-line catcher/processors); and the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program.
This final rule establishes the following halibut PSC limits: 1,745 mt for the Amendment 80 sector; 745 mt for the BSAI trawl limited access sector; 710 mt for the BSAI non-trawl sector; and 315 mt for the CDQ Program. This results in an overall BSAI halibut PSC limit of 3,515 mt. This action is necessary to minimize halibut bycatch in the BSAI groundfish fisheries to the extent practicable and to achieve, on a continuing basis, optimum yield from the BSAI groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.