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Environmental Assessment / Regulatory Impact Review / Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Amendments to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) (Amendment 88), BSAI Crab FMP (Amendment 23), Scallop FMP (Amendment 12) and the Salmon FMP (Amendment 9) and Regulatory Amendments to revise the Aleutian Islands Habitat Conservation Area
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    This Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (EA/RIR/FRFA) evaluates alternatives to amend the boundaries for the Aleutian Islands Habitat Conservation Area (AIHCA). The change to the AIHCA boundaries will more accurately reflect the concept of habitat protection for the closed areas analyzed in the Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Identification and Conservation Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The suggested modifications are minor changes to the boundaries of the closed area. The AIHCA was developed to reduce effects of fishing on corals, sponges, and hard bottom habitats by closing bottom trawling in vast areas of the Aleutian Islands. The action specifically protects habitats from potential future disturbance, by creating a closure in areas that have either not been fished or only minimally fished and have documented occurrence of corals and sponges, while allowing fishing to occur in historically fished areas that have no evidence of corals and sponges. This EA/RIR/FRFA evaluates alternatives for modifying the boundaries within two locations of the AIHCA. One location, near Agattu Island, would be removed from the closure area, and one location, near Buldir Island, would be added to the closure area.

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