Amendment 48 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NOAA Fisheries issues a final rule that implements Amendment 48 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Amendment 48 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Management Area. Amendments 48/48 revise the administrative process used to establish annual harvest specifications for the groundfish fisheries of the GOA and the BSAI. They also update the Fishery Management Plans by revising the description of the groundfish fisheries and participants, the name of the BSAI Fishery Management Plan, and the description of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council Groundfish Plan Teams' responsibilities. The text is revised to simplify wording and correct typographical errors.
This action is necessary to manage fisheries based on the best scientific information available and to provide adequate opportunity for prior public review and comment to the Secretary of Commerce on Council recommendations. It also provides additional opportunity for Secretarial review and minimizes unnecessary disruption to fisheries. Finally, it promotes the public's understanding as well as administrative efficiency. The final rule revises regulations to implement the new harvest specifications process in Amendments 48/48 and revises the name of the BSAI Fishery Management Plan. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plans, and other applicable laws.