Environmental Assessment of Amendment 36 to the Groundfish of the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Management Plan and Amendment 39 to the Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska Management Plan that would Create and Manage a Forage Fish Species Category
Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Plans: Environmental Assessment
These amendments establish a new forage fish species category and associated management measures. The intended effect of this action is to prevent the development of an unrestricted fishery for forage fish, which are a critical food source for many marine mammal, seabird, and fish species. Directed fishing for forage fish is prohibited at all times in the BSAI and GOA, but a maximum retainable bycatch amount of 2 percent is established for forage fish. The sale, barter, trade, or processing of forage fish is prohibited, except that limited incidental harvests of forage fish may be processed into fishmeal and sold. Subsistence fishing for forage fish species is exempt from this prohibition.