| Secretarial emergency action to revise fishing year 2014 catch limits for Gulf of Maine haddock : supplements the environmental assessment for Framework adjustment 51 to the northeast multispecies fishery management plan - :10209 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Secretarial emergency action to revise fishing year 2014 catch limits for Gulf of Maine haddock : supplements the environmental assessment for Framework adjustment 51 to the northeast multispecies fishery management plan
  • Published Date:
    2014
Filetype[PDF-2.06 MB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, ; United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of Program Planning and Integration, ;
  • Description:
    "The Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) finds that emergency action, under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), is necessary to revise the fishing year (FY) 2014 catch limits for Gulf of Maine (GOM) haddock, managed by the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The principal goal of this emergency action is to respond to the best available science to prevent foregone economic yield or substantial community impacts and potentially preserving an economic opportunity that otherwise would not be available without this action. The recent benchmark stock assessment by the Stock Assessment Review Committee (SARC 59, August 2014) indicates that the GOM haddock stock status should be changed to reflect that it is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. Therefore, the FMP should be revised in order to incorporate and respond to such information. This supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) analyzes the environmental impacts of an emergency action, which compares alternatives, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to quickly respond to this recent scientific information until such time that the New England Fishery Management Council (Council) can incorporate the new information into the FMP. Specifically, this emergency action would implement the following actions for GOM haddock, described in more detail below: (1) Revise the GOM haddock stock status determination criteria; (2) revise the GOM haddock Overfishing Level (OFL), Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) and Annual Catch Limits (ACLs); and (3) specify the GOM haddock sub-ACLs for the commercial and recreational fisheries. On May 1, 2014, the final rule implementing Framework Adjustment (FW) 51 to the FMP (79 FR 22421; April 22, 2014) implemented an overfishing limit of 440 mt for GOM haddock, with an allowable biological catch of 341 mt (Table 1). The FY 2014 catch limits for GOM haddock were substantial reductions of catch levels from prior years, and this action would provide relief from those restrictive ACLs that could enhance fishermen's opportunity to harvest optimum yield. Emergency action to revise the GOM haddock catch limits based on the stock assessment results provides timely incorporation of scientific information and enables the fishery to remain open longer. Immediate regulatory action mitigates potential disruptions in the fishing industry and foregone economic yield as fishermen would otherwise likely have to substantially modify or cease fishing operations. This increased operational flexibility will also help fishermen adjust to additional interim measures that increase GOM cod protections, such as seasonal closed areas. The supplemental EA analyzes potential impacts from increasing the GOM haddock OFL, ABC, and ACLs"--Executive summary (page 1).

  • Document Type:
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