EA/RIR/FRFA for Amendments to the FMP for Groundfish of the BSAI (Amendment 88), BSAI Crab FMP (Amendment 23), Scallop FMP (Amendment 12) and the Salmon FMP (Amendment 9) and Regulatory Amendments to Revise the Aleutian Islands Habitat Conservation Area
This Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis evaluates alternatives to amend the boundaries for the Aleutian Islands Habitat Conservation Area for essential fish habitat to minimize the adverse effects of fishing in the Aleutian Islands subarea.
The change to the Aleutian Islands Habitat Conservation Area (AIHCA) boundaries will more accurately reflect the concept of habitat protection for the closed areas analyzed in the Essential Fish Habitat Identification and Conservation Environmental Impact Statement. The suggested modifications are minor changes to the boundaries of the closed area. The AIHCA was developed to reduce effects of fishing on corals, sponges, and hard bottom habitats by closing bottom trawling in vast areas of the Aleutian Islands.
This EA/RIR/FRFA evaluates alternatives for modifying the boundaries within two locations of the AIHCA.