Biological Opinion on Authorization of Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Fisheries

December 22, 1999

Authorization of BSAI groundfish fisheries based on total allowable catch (TAC) specifications recommended by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for 2000; Authorization of GOA groundfish fisheries based on TAC specifications recommended by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for 2000; and Authorization of both BSAI and GOA groundfish fisheries based on statutes, regulations, and management measures to implement the American Fisheries Act of 1998.

The purpose of this opinion is to fulfill the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 requirements for consultation on authorization of groundfish fisheries in 2000 under the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands groundfish fishery management plan and based on 2000 TAC specifications, authorization of groundfish fisheries in 2000 under the Gulf of Alaska groundfish fishery management plan and based on 2000 TAC specifications, and authorization of both BSAI and GOA groundfish fisheries based on the American Fisheries Act of 1998. Section 7 regulations allow a formal consultation to encompass a number of similar actions within a given geographic area or a segment of a comprehensive plan (50 CFR 402.14). Consistent with this regulatory provision and for purposes of efficiency, these three actions are being summarized in a single biological opinion. Much of this opinion focuses on the potential effects of these fisheries on the endangered western population of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus).

Action Agency: National Marine Fisheries Service Alaska Region, Sustainable Fisheries Division

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

Section 7 Consultation Biological Opinions Steller Sea Lion