Environmental Assessment - Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Omnibus Amendments
Final Environmental Assessment for Groundfish Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands, Groundfish Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Crabs, Salmon Fisheries Exclusive Economic Zone, Fish Resources Arctic Management Area - Essential Fish Habitat Amendments.
A review of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) components in the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s fishery management plans should be completed every 5 years. The EFH provisions should be revised or amended, as warranted, based on the best available information. The 2015 EFH 5-year review that concluded in June 2017 evaluated new information on EFH and assessed information gaps and research needs. It also identified whether any revisions to EFH are needed.
Based on the 5-year review, the Council determined that new habitat and life history information is available to revise many of the EFH descriptions and maps in the fishery management plans. The following amendments revise EFH provisions of these fishery management plans:
- Amendment 115 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
- Amendment 105 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska,
- Amendment 49 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs,
- Amendment 13 to the Fishery Management Plan for Salmon Fisheries in the EEZ off Alaska
- Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management Plan for Fish Resources of the Arctic Management Area
These amendments to the EFH provisions in the Council’s fishery management plans would not substantively change the impacts of EFH as analyzed in the 2005 EFH environmental impact statement. The 2015 EFH 5-year review concluded that no change to the conclusions of the evaluation of fishing effects on EFH is warranted based on new information. None of the amendments require regulatory action.