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Categorical Exclusion for Amendment 52 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs

February 06, 2023

Categorical Exclusion for the Final Rule to Revise Economic Data Reporting Requirements for Groundfish and Crab Fisheries off Alaska and to Implement Amendment 52 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs.

Several provisions of the Economic Data Reporting (EDR) program were intended to provide a higher standard of confidentiality for proprietary business information. In practice, these provisions have proven to reduce the usability of the data for analysis. They also increase the cost of the data collection programs without providing additional practical protections. In addition, confidentiality requirements that apply to all data collections provide sufficient protections for the EDR data. This action removes the use of those provisions.

This action implements changes to a social and economic data collection program that have no effect on the natural or physical environment. Participants who are required to submit an annual EDR are expected to benefit from the changes. This action does not place any new regulatory burden on fishery participants required to submit EDRs. This action improves the usability, efficiency, and consistency of the data collection programs and minimizes cost to industry and the Federal government. The economic impacts of this action are addressed in the Analysis.

The Categorical Exclusion category A1 is appropriate for this action, since this regulatory amendment is a technical change to a fishery management regulation and will not result in a substantial change in harvest levels. This action is not connected to a larger action and can therefore be reviewed independently from other actions under NEPA.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 03/30/2023

Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crab Analyses Bering Sea