American Fisheries Act Fisheries - Federal Register Rules and Notices
NOAA Fisheries issues regulations to modify management of the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Program and Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. This final rule has two actions. The first action modifies regulations for AFA Program and CR Program vessels subject to limits on the catch of specific species (sideboard limits) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Management Area and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Management Area. This first action establishes regulations to prohibit directed fishing for specific groundfish species rather than prohibiting directed fishing each year through the BSAI and GOA annual harvest specifications. The second action removes the requirement for the designated representatives of AFA inshore cooperatives to submit a weekly catch report. This rule is intended to reduce administrative burdens associated with managing sideboard limits through annual harvest specifications without changing NMFS's inseason management of sideboard limits. Additionally, this rule reduces reporting burdens for the designated representatives and members of AFA inshore cooperatives.
NOAA Fisheries manages the groundfish fisheries in the exclusive economic zone of the BSAI and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), and the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). NOAA Fisheries manages vessels subject to specific limitations on the catch of specific species or species groups (sideboard limits) under the AFA Program under the BSAI and GOA FMPs, and NMFS manages vessels and License Limitation Program (LLP) licenses subject to sideboard limits under the CR Program under the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP).