Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for the Arctic Fishery Management Plan and Amendment 29 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs
An analysis of the alternatives for a proposed Arctic Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The North Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended the Arctic FMP, and considered several alternatives to accomplish the Council’s intent to prevent unregulated fishing in the Arctic Management Area. These alternatives are analyzed in this document.
The document provides decision-makers and the public with an evaluation of the environmental, social, and economic effects of alternatives and options to manage the fishery resources in the Arctic Management Area. No large fisheries exist in the Arctic Management Area. However, the warming of the Arctic and seasonal loss of sea ice may increase opportunities for fishing in this region. The Council recommends an Arctic Fishery Management Plan that would(1) close the Arctic to commercial fishing so that unregulated fishing does not occur until information improves so that fishing can be conducted sustainably and with due concern to other ecosystem components; (2) determine the fishery management authorities in the Arctic and provide the Council with a vehicle for addressing future management issues; and (3) implement an ecosystem-based management policy that recognizes the resources of the U.S. Arctic and the potential for fishery development that might affect those resources, particularly in the face of a changing climate. This document addresses the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, Presidential Executive Order 12866, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act.