EA/RIR/FRFA for a Regulatory Amendment to Establish a Stand Down Requirement for Vessels Transiting between the BSAI and the GOA
Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis and FONSI on stand down requirement to prevent unexpected shifts of fishing effort between Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA fisheries that can lead to over harvests of total allowable catch in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA.
In recent years, management of the inshore pollock and Pacific cod fisheries of the Western and Central (W/C) Regulatory Areas of the GOA has become increasingly difficult and the risk of harvest overruns has grown due to total allowable catch (TAC) amounts that are small relative to the potential fishing effort. The problem has been most acute in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA due to the constant potential that numerous large catcher vessels based in the Bering Sea will cross over to the GOA to participate in pollack and Pacific cod openings that have relatively small TACs. NOAA Fisheries currently lacks a preseason vessel registration program that could gauge potential effort in these fisheries prior to openings, and inseason catch information in these fisheries is neither timely nor accurate enough to allow adequate management.