Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review for Amendment 26 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area, Amendment 29 to the Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska
Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review of salmon bycatch reduction measures.
Salmon are taken incidental to the Alaska groundfish trawl fisheries. These fish experience 100 percent mortality when brought on board a vessel and must be returned to Federal waters as prohibited species once a NOAA Fisheries-certified observer has determined the number of salmon and completed the collection of any scientific data. At its September 1993 meeting, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted as a statement of intent a ''Salmon Bycatch Control Policy."
This policy endorsed the development of several different initiatives intended to address the salmon bycatch problem, including the development of regulations authorizing the retention of salmon for processing and delivery to economically disadvantaged individuals through tax-exempt organizations. The Council's intent for these regulations was to reduce protein waste in the groundfish trawl fisheries, provide additional opportunity to collect biological samples or scientific data, and potentially provide an incentive to vessel operators to take action to reduce salmon bycatch rates to avoid costs associated with retaining and processing salmon for human consumption.