Amendment 124 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands and Amendment 112 to the FMP for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska
NOAA Fisheries issues a final rule to implement Amendment 124 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 112 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). First, this final rule amends regulations for the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) and Community Development Quota (CDQ) Programs for pot gear configurations, pot gear tending and retrieval requirements, pot limits, and associated recordkeeping and reporting requirements. These changes increase operational efficiency and flexibility for IFQ holders and CDQ groups. Second, this final rule authorizes jig gear as a legal gear type for harvesting sablefish IFQ and CDQ, increasing opportunities for entry-level participants. Third, this final rule temporarily removes the Adak community quota entity (CQE) residency requirement for a period of five years. These actions are intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act), the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the BSAI FMP, GOA FMP, and other applicable laws.