Environmental Assessment - Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Omnibus Amendments
A review of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) components in the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's fishery management plans (FMPs) should be completed every 5 years, and the EFH provisions should be revised or amended, as warranted, based on the best available information. The 5-year review that concluded in April 2010 evaluated new information on EFH, assessed information gaps and research needs, and identified whether any revisions to EFH are needed or suggested.
Based on the 5-year review, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) determined that new habitat and life history information is available to revise many of the Essential Fish Habitat descriptions and recommendations in the Fishery Management Plans. The following amendments revise Essential Fish Habitat provisions of these plans:
- Amendment 98 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
- Amendment 90 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska
- Amendment 40 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs
- Amendment 15 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Scallop Fishery off Alaska
- Amendment 1 to the Fishery Management Plan for Fish Resources of the Arctic Management Area
The impact of the changes under these amendments is not substantively different from that analyzed in the 2005 Essential Fish Habitat environmental impact statement. None of the changes require regulatory action. The 2010 Essential Fish Habitat 5-year review concluded that no change to the 2005 conclusions on the evaluation of fishing effects on Essential Fish Habitat is warranted based on new information from the last 5 years.