Amendment 68 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska
In Section 802 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004, the U.S. Congress included a directive to the Secretary of Commerce to establish, in consultation with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (the Council), a pilot program for management of three rockfish fisheries in the Central Gulf of Alaska (the Central Gulf rockfish fisheries). At the February 2004 Council meeting, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) presented a brief discussion paper requesting Council input in the development of the pilot program. Based on this request and public testimony, the Council requested industry stakeholders to prepare and submit proposed alternatives for establishing the program to the Council at its April 2004 meeting. Industry representatives presented a proposal at that meeting that defined an alternative for management of the fisheries under the pilot program. Using the industry proposal and public input and staff discussion papers, the Council developed alternatives for the pilot program management of the rockfish fisheries at its June 2004, October 2004, December 2004, and February 2005 meetings. The Council conducted an initial review of the analysis of alternatives at its April 2005 meeting, directing staff to release the document, after making suggested revisions, for final review at its June 2005 meeting.