Final EA/RIR/IRFA to Reduce Gulf of Alaska Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits - Amendment 95 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska
Halibut bycatch (PSC) in the groundfish fisheries of the Gulf of Alaska
Halibut PSC limits have not changed since their implementation in 1989 for trawl fisheries and a revision in 1995 for fixed gear fisheries. Recent declines in halibut Exploitable biomass, particularly in the GOA, have exacerbated concerns about levels of halibut PSC in groundfish fisheries because of their potential effect on directed commercial Individual Fishing Quota, charter, unguided, and subsistence fisheries.
Final action occurred in June 2012, with the intention that Federal regulations to implement the Council’s Preferred Alternative would be in effect by 2014. The Preferred Alternative would reduce halibut PSC limits in the GOA by 15 percent over three years for trawl fisheries and catcher vessel longline fisheries, and by 7 percent in one year for catcher processor longline fisheries.