Amendment 96 to the FMP for the Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
NOAA Fisheries issues a final rule to implement Amendments 95 and 96 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area and Amendment 87 to the FMP for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.
Amendment 95 moves skates from the "other species" category to the "target species" category in the FMP. Amendments 96 and 87 revise the FMPs to meet the National Standard 1 guidelines for annual catch limits and accountability measures. These amendments move all remaining species groups from the "other species" category to the "target species" category, remove the "other species" and "non-specified species" categories from the FMPs, establish an "ecosystem components" category, and describe the current practices for groundfish fisheries management in the FMPs, as required by the guidelines.
The final rule removes references to the "other species" category for purposes of the harvest specifications and adds skate species to the reporting codes for the BSAI groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMPs, and other applicable laws.