NMFS Opens Comment on Proposed BSAI Groundfish Management Plan Amendment

Image: NOAA Fisheries.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is seeking comment through March 13 on a proposed rule that would establish a program allocating Pacific cod harvest quota to a limited access group of harvesters and processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI).

The proposed rule would implement Amendment 122 to the fishery management plan for groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. It would establish the Pacific Cod Trawl Cooperative Program (PCTC) to allocate Pacific cod harvest quota to qualifying groundfish License Limitation Program (LLP) license holders and qualifying processors.

The program would be a limited access privilege program for the harvest of Pacific cod in the BSAI trawl catcher vessel sector.

According to NMFS, the proposed action is necessary to increase the value of the fishery, minimize bycatch to the extent practicable, provide for sustained participation of fishery-dependent communities, ensure the sustainability and viability of the resource, and promote safety and stability in the harvesting and processing sectors. 

NMFS also said this action would promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and other applicable laws.

Comments may be sent electronically by going to https://www.regulations.gov and entering NOAA-NMFS-2022-0072 in the search box. Then click on the “comment” icon, complete the required fields and attach your comments.

Comments can also be sent in via the U.S. Post Office by mailings comments to Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, at P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, Alaska 99802-1668.

All comments received become part of the public record and are posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov. NMFS also accepts anonymous comments. Enter “N/A” in required fields if you wish to remain anonymous.