Amendment 3 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NOAA Fisheries issues this proposed rule for Amendment 3 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island Area. The amendment would establish a management system to reduce the incidental catch of salmon, Pacific halibut, king crab, and Tanner crab, which are prohibited species for the foreign groundfish fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands area. This management system is proposed in response to a growing concern that the general prohibition against taking and retaining prohibited species has not reduced their incidental catch in the foreign trawl fishery, which adversely affects the domestic target fisheries that fully utilize salmon, Pacific halibut, king crab, and Tanner crab.
The intended effect of this action is to reduce the incidental catch and unnecessary mortality of salmon, Pacific halibut; king crab, and Tanner crab in foreign groundfish operations, while still allowing the foreign fisheries an opportunity to harvest their groundfish allocations.