Maximum Retainable Amount (MRA) in Alaska Fisheries - Federal Register Rules and Notices
Reduction of the maximum retainable amount (MRA) of skates using groundfish and halibut as basis species in the Gulf of Alaska from 20 percent to 5 percent. Reducing skate MRAs is necessary to decrease the incentive for fishermen to target skates and slow the catch rate of skates in these fisheries. This final rule will enhance conservation and management of skates and minimize skate discards in GOA groundfish and halibut fisheries.
A MRA is the maximum amount of a species closed to directed fishing (i.e.,skate species) that may be retained onboard a vessel. MRAs are calculated as a percentage of the weight of catch of each species or species group open to directed fishing (basis species) that is retained onboard the vessel. The percentage of a species or species group closed to directed fishing retained in relation to the basis species must not exceed the MRA.
MRAs assist in limiting catch of a species within its annual TAC. NMFS closes a species to directed fishing before the entire TAC is taken to leave sufficient amounts of the TAC available for incidental catch. The amount of the TAC remaining available for incidental catch is typically managed by a species-specific MRA. An MRA applies at all times and to all areas for the duration of a fishing trip (see § 679.20(e)(3)). Vessel operators may retain incidental catch species while directed fishing for groundfish species up to the MRA percentage of the basis species retained catch until the TAC for the incidental catch species is met.