Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis: Amendment 34 to the FMP for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs: Revise Crab Sideboard Exemptions for the Gulf of Alaska Pacific Cod and Pollock Fishery
At its December 2006 meeting, the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (Council) heard public testimony that the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) sideboard limits, stemming from the crab rationalization program, had overly restricted historical participants in the GOA Pacific cod fishery. In response, the Council tasked staff to prepare a discussion paper of all GOA sideboards for non-American Fisheries Act crab vessels.
The Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program was implemented in March of 2005. The program allocated quota share (QS) to harvesters in nine BSAI crab fisheries. Each year, a person who holds QS may receive individual fishing quota to harvest BSAI crab. The purpose of the non-AFA crab sideboard limits was to prevent vessels with crab QS from disadvantaging non-crab participants in the GOA groundfish fisheries.