Amendment 85 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 85 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area to NOAA Fisheries for review. If approved, Amendment 85 would revise the current Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area Pacific cod allocations of total allowable catch among various harvest sectors, modify the management of Pacific cod incidental catch in other non-target fisheries, eliminate the groundfish reserve for Pacific cod, increase the percentage of the BSAI Pacific cod TAC apportioned to the Community Development Quota Program, and add a new appendix to the FMP that summarizes the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005.
Amendment 85 is necessary to reduce uncertainty about the availability of yearly harvests within sectors caused by reallocations, and to maintain stability between sectors in the BSAI Pacific cod fishery. This would be accomplished by establishing allocations that more closely reflect actual use by sector than do current allocations while considering socioeconomic and community factors, thus reducing the need for reallocations during the fishing year. This proposed amendment also is necessary to implement recent changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act that require a directed fishing allocation of 10 percent to the CDQ Program upon the establishment of a sector allocation. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws. The amendment is available for public review and comment.