Environmental Assessment for Amendment 59 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska
Amendment 59 will establish a 2.5 square nautical mile area of federal ocean water above and surrounding the Pinnacles off Cape Edgecumbe in the Gulf of Alaska as the Sitka Pinnacles Marine Reserve.
This area, which is an unusually productive and highly fragile marine habitat, would be closed to fishing for groundfish or anchoring by vessels holding a Federal fisheries permit. The area would also be closed to commercial or sport fishing for Pacific halibut, and to anchoring by sport or commercial halibut vessels. The intent of this action is to protect an area containing important fish habitat from degradation due to fishing and anchoring impacts, and to create a groundfish reserve.