Final Regulatory Impact Review for a Regulatory Amendment for Observer Coverage Requirements on BSAI Trawl Catcher Vessels
This Regulatory Impact Review analyzes proposed management measures that would either require or allow trawl catcher vessels fishing in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands management area to move from the partial observer coverage category to the full coverage category of the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program.
The action alternatives vary in whether a vessel would mandatorily be placed in the full coverage category or be provided a choice to be voluntarily reassigned to the full observer coverage category. If voluntary, the alternatives include options that would extend the opportunity to all Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) trawl catcher vessels, or limit it to catcher vessels that are eligible to participate in an American Fisheries Act pollock cooperative.
Through this action, the Council is seeking to provide relief to trawl catcher vessel owners who have voluntarily paid for full observer coverage, in addition to the partial observer coverage fee liability, in order to better manage catch of prohibited species while complying with existing Observer Program regulations. The Council also seeks to maintain the efficacy of the Observer Program, and avoid limiting regulatory flexibility for other vessels that might request full coverage in the future.