| Finding of No Significant Impact for a Regulatory Amendment to Revise The Maximum Retainable Amounts of Groundfish Using Arrowtooth Flounder and Kamchatka Flounder as Basis Species and Separate Management of Kamchatka Flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands - :19172 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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Finding of No Significant Impact for a Regulatory Amendment to Revise The Maximum Retainable Amounts of Groundfish Using Arrowtooth Flounder and Kamchatka Flounder as Basis Species and Separate Management of Kamchatka Flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
  • Published Date:
    2013
Filetype[PDF-1.33 MB]


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    This action revises the maximum retainable amounts (MRAs) for groundfish using arrowtooth flounder and Kamchatka flounder as basis species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action increases the MRAs from zero percent to 20 percent for pollock, Pacific cod, Atka mackerel, Alaska plaice, yellowfin sole, other flatfish, rock sole, flathead sole, and squid; from zero percent to seven percent for Greenland turbot; from zero percent to one percent for sablefish; from zero percent to two percent for shortraker and rougheye rockfish (combined); from zero percent to five percent for aggregated rockfish; and from zero percent to three percent for other species (combined). These species and species groups are defined in the footnotes to retainable percentages listed in Table 11 to Part 679. The intended effect of this action is to reduce regulatory discards of otherwise marketable groundfish in the arrowtooth flounder fishery. NMFS also proposes additional amendments to support this action. NMFS proposes to revise§ 679.20(b)(l)(ii) to provide greater flexibility for NMFS to determine in the annual harvest specifications whether allocations should be made to the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program for any species not specifically allocated to the CDQ Program. NMFS proposes to revise Table 3 to Part 679 to include surimi product recovery rates for Kamchatka flounder as well as other flatfish not previously included in Table 3. NMFS proposes a revision to the BSAI groundfish seasons at§ 679.23(e)(l) to include Kamchatka flounder with arrowtooth flounder and Greenland turbot so that the season commences on May 1, for all of these species. This rule revises Table 11 to identify Kamchatka flounder as a basis species, consistent with the annual harvest specifications, and include revisions to trawl fishery categories for prohibited species catch management and groundfish fishing seasons to continue management of Kamchatka flounder identical to arrowtooth flounder. These amendments increase opportunities for the BSAI non-pelagic trawl fishery to increase directed fishing for arrowtooth flounder, while constraining catch of Kamchatka flounder within its total allowable catch (TAC). It also limits targeting on other high valued species such as sablefish, Greenland turbot, and rockfish and limits retention of the other species (sharks, sculpins, skates, and octopus in the aggregate). This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, and other applicable law.

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