Amendment 17 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska Management Area
NOAA Fisheries issues a proposed rule to implement Amendment 17 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska and Amendment 12 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area. Both amendments are pending approval by the Secretary of Commerce.
If approved, these amendments would: 1) Require U.S. vessels that receive groundfish harvested from the U.S. exclusive economic zone adjacent to Alaska to have a permit; 2) establish prohibited species catch limits for groundfish species, applicable to U.S. fishing vessels delivering their catch to foreign processing vessels and to foreign fishing; 3) establish rock sole as a target species separate from the "other flatfish" category; and 4) remove the requirement to complete a resource assessment document annually by July 1. All but the last of these changes require regulatory implementation. The proposed regulations are necessary for the conservation and management of the groundfish resources in the EEZ off Alaska and for the orderly conduct of the groundfish fisheries.