Amendment 18 was developed at the same time as Amendment 19. Amendment 18:
- Requires the use of current bycatch minimization measures.
- Fully describes the current standardized bycatch reporting methodology.
- Incorporates the Groundfish Strategic Plan goal of reducing overcapacity in all commercial fisheries.
- Implements a sector-specific bycatch accounting methodology.
- Supports the future use of individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs for appropriate fishery sectors.
- Authorizes 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.