Fishery Management Plan and Amendments: Amendment 21-4: (In Development)

Amendment 21-4: (In Development)

NMFS West Coast Region submitted Amendment 21-4 of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for review by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) on August 23, 2019, and the notice of availability and request for comments was published in the Federal Register on August 30, 2019. Amendment 21-4 would change the FMP to specify that canary and widow rockfish will be managed using set-asides for the at-sea whiting fishery (rather than bycatch allocations),  remove from the FMP the fixed formulas used to determine bycatch amounts of Pacific Ocean Perch, darkblotched rockfish and widow rockfish provided for the at-sea whiting sectors, and allow the Council to identify projected at-sea bycatch amounts for these stocks through the biennial harvest specification process. The public comment period on the Notice of Availability will end on October 29, 2019.  The decision date to approve, disapprove, or partially approve Amendment 21-4 is November 28, 2019.

In addition to the change in the FMP, if Amendment 21-4 is approved by the Secretary, regulatory changes will also be required.  The proposed rule for Amendment 21-4 to the groundfish FMP and other Council regulatory recommendations following from completion of the first five-year program review (follow-on actions) published in the Federal Register on October 10.  The comment period will end on October 29, 2019.

The decision analysis supporting the Council recommendations and providing related Council rationale is contained in “Amendment 20 Catch Share Review Follow-on Actions–Alternatives and Impact Analysis, Including Amendment 21-4 to the Groundfish FMP) Council Decision Analysis Document.”