Amendment 18 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska Management Area
NOAA Fisheries issues a final rule to implement Amendment 13 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area and Amendment 18 to the FMP for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. Regulations implement the following measures specific to both Amendments 13 and 18: 1) Specific seasons are deleted from the FMPs and all future seasons changes will be established by regulatory amendment; 2) a comprehensive data collection program is approved, which consists of augmented recordkeeping and reporting requirements and a mandatory observer program; and 3) the Secretary's authority to separate or combine species within the target species category is clarified.
Regulations specific to Amendment 18: 1) Shelikof Strait is established as a management district for purposes of managing pollock; 2) areas around Kodiak Island are closed to bottom trawl gear, and 3) Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for fixed gear and trawl gear are established for one year. This action is necessary to promote management and conservation of groundfish and other fish resources. It is intended to further "the goals" and objectives contained in both FMPs that govern these fisheries.