Amendment 40 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NOAA Fisheries issues regulations implementing Amendment 40 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area as recommended by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The implementing regulations establish a prohibited species catch limit for Chionoecetes opilio, a crab species, in a new C. opilio Bycatch Limitation Zone of the Bering Sea. Upon attainment of a C. opilio bycatch allowance apportioned to a particular trawl fishery category, the COBLZ will be closed to directed fishing for species in that trawl fishery category. This measure is necessary to further protect the stocks of Bering Sea C. opilio by limiting the incidental take of this species thereby mitigating the potential adverse effects of trawl fishing activities on the C. opilio stock. This measure is intended to accomplish the objectives of the FMP with respect to the management of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area groundfish fishery.