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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BJ03 Publication ID: Fall 2019 
Title: ●Amendment 119 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area and Amendment 107 to the Fishery Management Plan 
Abstract:

In response to a recommendation by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, this rulemaking action proposes to require full retention of all rockfish species by catcher vessels (CVs) using hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council determined that requiring full retention of all rockfish species will improve the identification of species when CVs are subject to electronic monitoring; improve data collection; reduce incentives to discard rockfish; reduce waste from bycatch of rockfish, which has an extremely high mortality rate when discarded; reduce overall enforcement burden; and promote more consistent management between State of Alaska and Federal fisheries. This action also mitigates most conservation concerns by establishing a maximum commerce allowance (MCA). The MCA for rockfish is calculated at delivery and is set to 15 percent of retained groundfish and halibut, of which 5 percent can be yelloweye rockfish. The MCA is intended to remove financial incentives for vessel operators to increase rockfish harvest; and to allow vessel operators to sell most rockfish harvested incidentally to promote compliance with the full retention requirement. This action would also require retention of all rockfish even if a rockfish species is on prohibited species status, but prohibits retained rockfish from entering commerce.

 
Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Not subject to, not significant 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 679   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
Notice of Availability  08/22/2019  84 FR 43783   
NPRM  10/02/2019  84 FR 52442   
NPRM Comment Period End  11/01/2019 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
James Balsiger
Regional Administrator, Alaska Region
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
709 West Ninth Street,
Juneau, AK 99801
Phone:907 586-7221
Fax:907 586-7465
Email: jim.balsiger@noaa.gov