Biological Opinion - Authorization of Alaska Groundfish Fisheries

November 24, 2010

Authorization of groundfish fisheries under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, Authorization of groundfish fisheries under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, State of Alaska parallel groundfish fisheries. NMFS Consultation Number: AKR-2006-7616

This Biological Opinion, prepared in compliance with section 7 of the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), documents the consultation on the effects of the authorization of groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands region (BSAI) under the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and on the authorization of groundfish fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) under the FMP for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, including the prosecution of parallel groundfish fisheries in Alaska state waters.This Biological Opinion is comprehensive in scope and considers the fisheries and the overall management framework established by the respective FMPs to determine whether that framework contains necessary measures to ensure the protection of listed species and critical habitat.

On August 2, 2010, NMFS released a draft of this Biological Opinion and accepted public comment on the draft analysis through September 3, 2010. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its Scientific and Statistical Committee and Advisory Panel convened a special meeting in August 2010 to review the draft Biological Opinion and the Reasonable Prudent Alternatives contained therein. During the comment period, NMFS received over 10,000 comments including many extensive scientific reviews of the document and the scientific underpinnings of its conclusions. NMFS also requested an internal Agency review of the scientific information contained in the Biological Opinion by NMFS scientists familiar with Steller sea lions, the North Pacific Ocean ecosystem, and the commercial fisheries prosecuted in the region. NMFS considered these comments and the review and made several revisions to the Biological Opinion as a result of comments and review received on the draft.

Action Agency: NOAA Fisheries

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 12/27/2019

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