EA/RIR/FRFA for Amendment 73 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands and Amendment 77 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska: Revised Management Authority for Dark Rockfish
Analysis of the proposed amendment to remove dark rockfish from the Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Fishery Management Plan and from the Bering Sea Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fishery Management Plan.
This Environmental Assessment, Regulatory Impact Review and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis describes the proposed amendment to remove dark rockfish (Sebastes ciliatus) from the Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), and from the Bering Sea Aleutian Islands Groundfish FMP. Dark rockfish make up a small proportion of the total biomass in the pelagic shelf rockfish complex in the Gulf of Alaska, and in the “other rockfish” complex in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands area. This species is more often found in nearshore waters, and caught in fisheries managed by the State of Alaska. Removing this species from these FMPs would allow the State of Alaska to manage this species in both State and Federal waters off Alaska.
Management of dark rockfish by the State is anticipated to be an improvement over Federal management due to the State’s ability to manage this species as a single stock and to protect against the potential for localized depletion of dark rockfish. No impacts are anticipated on marine mammals, seabirds, threatened or endangered species, habitat, or the ecosystem.
This document addresses the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, Presidential Executive Order 12866, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act.