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DRAFT Environmental Impact Statement for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Halibut Abundance-Based Management (ABM) of Amendment 80 Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) Limit

September 07, 2021

Draft analysis on linking the Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limit for the Amendment 80 commercial groundfish trawl fleet in the BSAI to halibut abundance.

This document is a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). A DEIS provides assessments of the environmental impacts of an action and its reasonable alternatives as well as the economic benefits and costs of the action alternatives and their distribution. A DEIS is produced by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region to provide the analytical background for decision-making. This DEIS addresses the statutory requirements of the MSA, the National Environmental Policy Act, and Presidential Executive Order 12866.

This document analyzes a proposed management measure to link the Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) prohibited species catch (PSC) limit for the Amendment 80 commercial groundfish trawl fleet in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) groundfish fisheries to halibut abundance. The objectives of linking the PSC limit are to minimize halibut PSC to the extent practicable under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) National Standard 9 and to continue achieving optimum yield in the BSAI groundfish fisheries on a continuing basis under MSA National Standard 1. This would also be expected to provide incentives for the Amendment 80 fleet to minimize halibut mortality at all times. Achievement of these objectives could result in additional harvest opportunities in the commercial halibut fishery.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 11/14/2022

Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Analyses Alaska Halibut Bycatch Halibut