Amendment 20 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska Management Area
NOAA Fisheries issues a final rule to implement Amendment 15 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands area, Amendment 20 to the FMP for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, and a regulatory amendment affecting the fishery for Pacific halibut in and off the State of Alaska.
These regulations establish an individual fishing quota limited access system in fixed gear fisheries for Pacific halibut and sablefish in and off Alaska. In addition, this action implements a Western Alaska Community Development Quota program for halibut and sablefish fixed gear fisheries. These actions are intended by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to promote the conservation and management of halibut and sablefish resources, and to further the objectives of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 and the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson Act) that provide authority for regulating these fisheries. The IFQ program is intended to resolve various conservation and management problems that stem from the current "open access" regulatory regime. The CDQ program is intended to help develop commercial fisheries in communities on the Bering Sea coast by allowing them exclusive access to specified amounts of halibut and sablefish in the BSAI.