Amendment 25 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NOAA Fisheries announces the approval of Amendment 25 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area and issues final regulations to implement the amendment that eliminates the primary Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limit established for BSAI trawl fisheries. NOAA Fisheries also issues final regulations that prohibit the discard of salmon taken as bycatch in the BSAI groundfish trawl fisheries until the number of salmon has been determined by a NOAA Fisheries-certified observer, and authorizes the release of vessel-specific observer data on bycatch of prohibited species in the BSAI and Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries. This action is necessary to manage effectively the halibut PSC limit established for BSAI trawl fisheries and to provide better information on salmon and other prohibited species bycatch. This action is intended to promote management and conservation of groundfish and other fish resources and to further the objectives contained in the FMP for the Groundfish Fishery of the BSAI and the FMP for Groundfish of the GOA.