Fishery Management Plan and Amendments: FMP: Amendment 16-5

In June 2010, the Council adopted final preferred alternatives for harvest specifications and management measures for the 2011-2012 groundfish fisheries. Council action included the adoption of Amendment 16-5 to the groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) which proposed to modify all existing overfished species rebuilding plans, institute a new rebuilding plan for petrale sole, modify the status determination criteria for assessed flatfish species, and establish a new precautionary harvest control rule for assessed flatfish species.

In a letter dated December 27, 2010, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) disapproved Amendment 16-5 in its entirety. The letter states, “Amendment 16-5 is being disapproved because there is not currently an adequate EIS [environmental impact statement] to support decision-making.” The letter also mentioned “…necessary analytical refinements…” in the draft EIS and the Magnuson-Stevens Act provision on rebuilding decision criteria to support their reasons for disapproving the amendment.

A  final EIS (FEIS) was published on March 11, 2011.  It evaluates both the effects of groundfish harvest specifications and management measures for 2011 and 2012 and Amendment 16-5.  The FEIS also evaluates a NMFS preferred alternative for 2011 and 2012 with a 17 metric ton (mt) annual catch limit (ACL) for yelloweye rockfish and a 3 mt cowcod ACL. The remaining harvest specifications contained in the NMFS preferred alternative are the same as the Council’s final preferred alternative. Management measures contained in the NMFS preferred alternative are the same as the Council’s final preferred alternative, except the NMFS preferred alternative does not include modifications to the Cowcod Conservation Area (CCA) recommended by the Council which would have changed the CCA boundary from 20 to 30 fathoms and provided for the retention of shelf rockfish.

NMFS requested that the Council reconsider Amendment 16-5 for implementation of the 2012 specifications and management measures. The Council considered this matter at their March 2011 meeting and reaffirmed their original decision on Amendment 16-5 by rejecting the NMFS-preferred alternative.  In response NMFS developed a Secretarial Amendment to incorporate provisions of their preferred alternative into the Groundfish FMP.  The Secretarial Amendment and related regulations for 2012 groundfish fisheries will be finalized before the end of 2011.

The regulations for 2011 were implemented through a series of emergency and final rules.

On September 9, 2011, NMFS published a Notice of Availability for a Secretarial Amendment, which incorporates groundfish rebuilding plan provisions developed by NMFS in consequence of their disapproval of Groundfish Amendment 16-5 developed by the Council.  The Notice announced a public hearing held at the September 2011 Council meeting  and a written public comment period ending on November 6, 2011.  On December 28, 2011, NMFS informed the Council that they approved the Secretarial Amendment (which NMFS refers to as Secretarial Amendment 1) and published a final rule on December 14, 2011 (76 FR 77415) with regulations for the 2012 fishing year.  Current regulations can be found by visiting the NMFS Groundfish Regulations webpage.

The Secretarial Amendment also moves species rebuilding plan provisions from Chapter 4 in the FMP to Appendix F.


2011-2012 FEIS Downloads

Download the Entire MAIN Document:

Download the FEIS Appendices

  • Appendix A: Description of Projection Models
  • Appendix B: Detailed Management Measures Analysis
  • Appendix C: Detailed Analysis of the Integrated Alternatives
  • Appendix D: Description of the Input-Output Model for Pacific Coast Fisheries (IOPAC)
  • Appendix E: Update of the 2006 Community Vulnerability Analysis
  • Appendix F: Historical Landings and Revenue in Groundfish Fisheries
  • Appendix G: Analysis of Long-Term Benefits of Alternative Rebuilding Strategies for Yelloweye and Canary Rockfish