Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review for Proposed Amendment 124 to the BSAI FMP for Groundfish and Amendment 112 to the GOA FMP for Groundfish to revise IFQ Program Regulations
This document analyzes several management measures that would apply to fishery participants in the halibut and sablefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) and Community Development Quota (CDQ) fisheries off Alaska.
The management measures under consideration include changes to requirements specific to pot gear used to fish IFQ in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), such as requirements for pot gear configuration, gear retrieval, and pot limits. Other measures under consideration include changes to biodegradable panel requirements on pot gear used to fish IFQ and CDQ in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and the GOA. The purpose of these changes to gear specifications is to increase operational efficiency for vessels participating in these fisheries and to reduce administrative burden. The proposed action would also authorize jig gear as a legal gear type for harvesting sablefish IFQ and CDQ in the BSAI and GOA to increase access to entry-level fishing opportunities. Another management measure under consideration would temporarily remove the Adak community quota entity (CQE) residency requirement for five years to provide more opportunity for the Adak CQE to fully harvest its allocation.