Final EA/RIR for Amendment 50 to the FMP for the Groundfish Fishery of the BSAI and Amendment 50 to the FMP for Groundfish of the GOA to Authorize Distribution of Halibut Bycatch in the Groundfish Fisheries off Alaska to the Economically Disadvantaged
This analysis evaluates a program to allow limited retention of halibut for donation to needy individuals.
Vessels participating in these fisheries typically use trawl, hook-and-line or pot gear. Trawl gear accounts for most of the groundfish catch, and for about 84 percent of the halibut bycatch mortality. Total halibut bycatch mortality was estimated to be 6,757 metric tons during 1996.
At its January 1993 meeting, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended to the International Pacific Halibut Commission and to NOAA Fisheries that a program to allow limited retention of halibut for donation to needy individuals be considered. At its April 1997 meeting, the council approved alternative 2 as its preferred alternative.