Regulatory Impact Review for Proposed Regulatory Amendment Halibut Deck Sorting Monitoring Requirements for Trawl Catcher/Processors Operating in Non-Pollock Groundfish Fisheries off Alaska

June 01, 2019

Analysis of a regulatory amendment to allow halibut to be sorted on the deck of trawl catcher/processors (CPs) and motherships when operating in non-pollock groundfish fisheries off Alaska.

This Regulatory Impact Review evaluates the benefits and costs of a regulatory amendment to allow halibut to be sorted on the deck of trawl catcher/processors (CPs) and motherships when operating in non-pollock groundfish fisheries off Alaska. This would allow Pacific halibut to be returned to the sea from the deck prior to weighing on a flow scale. The purpose of this action is to reduce the discard mortality of halibut aboard trawl CPs and motherships operating in the non-pollock fisheries off Alaska and to ensure observer data continue to provide reliable estimates of halibut prohibited species catch. A reduction in discard mortality of halibut could contribute to maximized harvest of the directed groundfish fisheries and reduce halibut mortality which may provide additional harvest opportunities in the commercial halibut fishery. In addition to the primary action, this RIR also evaluates the benefits of minor changes to bin monitoring requirements in the Amendment 80 fleet and the observer sampling station inspection requirements in Federal groundfish fisheries.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 10/29/2019

Alaska Halibut Bycatch North Pacific Observer Program