Final Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review for Amendment 66 to the Fishery Management Plan for Gulf of Alaska Groundfish to Allow Eligible GOA Communities to Hold Commercial Halibut and Sablefish Quota Share for Lease to Community Residents
This Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review Analysis analyzes the impacts of allowing a defined set of remote Gulf of Alaska coastal communities to purchase, hold, and use commercial halibut and sablefish catcher vessel quota share in the Gulf of Alaska.
This proposed action is prompted to assist a number of small coastal communities in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska, which are striving to remain economically viable, to increase or maintain their participation in the halibut and sablefish fisheries. The halibut and sablefish IFQ Program, as with other limited entry programs, increases the cost of entry into and expansion in these commercial fisheries.
The objective of the proposed FMP and regulatory amendment is to allow qualifying communities, which may have more access to the capital required, as well as the financial stability to risk that investment, to purchase halibut and sablefish quota share for lease to and use by community residents. This is intended to address the identified problem without undermining the goals of the IFQ Program or precluding entry-level opportunities for fishermen residing in other fishery dependent communities.