Fishery Management Plan and Amendments: FMP: Amendment 18

Bycatch Mitigation Program

September 2006

Amendment 18 contains the following elements:

  1. Amend the fishery management plan (FMP) to require the use of current bycatch minimization measures.
  2. Amend the FMP to fully describe the current standardized bycatch reporting methodology.
  3. Amend the FMP to incorporate the Groundfish Strategic Plan goal of reducing overcapacity in all commercial fisheries.
  4. Implement a sector-specific bycatch accounting methodology.
  5. Support the future use of individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs for appropriate fishery sectors.
  6. Authorize the use of sector-specific total catch cap programs to reduce bycatch of overfished (depleted) species in appropriate sectors of the fishery. These programs could include monitoring standards, full retention programs, and individual vessel incentives for exemption from caps.

Amendment 18 was approved by NMFS on September 6, 2006 [download the approval letter].

The preface to the amendatory language explains the proposed changes to the groundfish FMP.