Amendment 30 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan & 2023-2024 Harvest Specifications and Management Measures
This rule establishes the 2023–24 harvest specifications for groundfish caught in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan. This rule also revises the management measures that are intended to keep the total annual catch of each groundfish stock or stock complex within the annual catch limits. These measures are intended to help prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best scientific information available.
The comment period for the proposed rule ended on November 14, 2022. (This rule also proposes to implement Amendment 30 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan. The comment period for Amendment 30 partially overlapped with that of the proposed rule, and ended on November 7, 2022.)
- Specifies a shortbelly rockfish catch threshold to initiate Council review;
- Extends the length of the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary season;
- Changes the use of Rockfish Conservation Area boundaries;
- Expands the use of Block Area Closures to control catch of groundfish; and
- Corrects the definition of Block Area Closures.