Amendment 50 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska Management Area
NOAA Fisheries issues regulations to implement Amendment 50 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska and Amendment 50 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area. This rule authorizes the distribution of Pacific halibut taken as bycatch in the specified groundfish trawl fisheries off Alaska to economically disadvantaged individuals through tax-exempt organizations selected by NOAA Fisheries to be authorized distributors. This rule is applicable only until December 31, 2000, in order for management agencies to be able to assess the program prior to determining whether or not to continue it under a future regulatory amendment. This action is necessary to promote the goals and objectives of the FMPs. The intended effect of this action is to reduce the amount of regulatory discards in the groundfish fisheries by processing dead halibut for human consumption.