Supplemental Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Amendment 75 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area - Changes in IR/IU Flatfish Requirements
Analysis of alternative actions to address the issue of the improved retention and improved utilization (IR/IU) of yellowfin sole and rock sole in BSAI groundfish fisheries and shallow-water flatfish in GOA groundfish fisheries (Flatfish IR/IU).
This Supplemental Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (EA/RIR/FRFA) assesses the effects of removing all flatfish IR/IU requirements from the Fishery Management Plan for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, a delay in implementation of flatfish IR/IU requirements which were scheduled to go into effect in January 2003, and other alternatives which are aimed at reducing bycatch (discards) while mitigating expected negative economic impacts to vessels participating in these fisheries. As a supplement to the Environmental Assessment (EA) this document provides additional clarification of the partial approval action taken by the Secretary of Commerce on May 29, 2003, not detailed in the EA submitted with BSAI FMP Amendment 75. The effects on the human environment and any impacts from that action are, identical to alternatives presented in the March 2003 EA/RIR/IRFA. In this document the use of the term “bycatch” is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act definition of bycatch — fish which are harvested in a fishery, but which are not sold or kept for personal use, and includes economic discards and regulatory discards.