Amendment 49 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NOAA Fisheries issues a final rule to implement Amendment 49 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area. This final rule requires all vessels fishing for groundfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Management Area to retain all pollock and Pacific cod beginning January 3, 1998, and all rock sole and yellowfin sole beginning January 1, 2003—the Improved Retention/Improved Utilization (IR/IU) Program. This final rule also establishes a 15-percent minimum utilization standard for all at-sea processors beginning January 3, 1998, for pollock and Pacific cod and, beginning January 1, 2003, for rock sole and yellowfin sole. This action is necessary to respond to the fishing industry's socioeconomic needs that have been identified by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and is intended to further the goals and objectives of the FMP.