Amendment 47 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska Management Area
NOAA Fisheries issues a final rule to implement Amendment 47 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, Amendment 47 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area, Amendment 6 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Commercial King and Tanner Crab Fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area, and a technical amendment to clarify existing regulations that the observer coverage requirements for catcher vessels participating in the community development quota fisheries are in addition to the observer coverage requirements for the open access groundfish fisheries. This action also repeals regulations implementing the North Pacific Fisheries Research Plan.
This action is necessary to respond to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's recommendation to repeal the Research Plan and implement Amendments 47 and 47 to the Groundfish FMPs to establish mandatory groundfish observer coverage requirements through 1997. Amendment 6 to the Crab FMP removes reference to the Research Plan. This action establishes an Interim Groundfish Observer Program until a long-term program that addresses concerns about observer data integrity, equitable distribution of observer coverage costs, and observer compensation and working conditions is recommended by the Council and implemented by NOAA Fisheries.