Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Amendment 16-4; Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery
This final rule implements Amendment 16-4 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and sets the 2007-2008 harvest specifications and management measures for groundfish taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. Amendment 16-4 modifies the FMP to implement revised rebuilding plans for seven overfished species: bocaccio, canary rockfish, cowcod, darkblotched rockfish, Pacific ocean perch (POP), widow rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish. Groundfish harvest specifications and management measures for 2007-2008 are intended to: achieve but not exceed optimum yields (OYs); prevent overfishing; rebuild overfished species; reduce and minimize the bycatch and discard of overfished and depleted stocks; provide harvest opportunity for the recreational and commercial fishing sectors; and, within the commercial fisheries, achieve harvest guidelines and limited entry and open access allocations for non-overfished species. Together, Amendment 16-4 and the 2007-2008 harvest specifications and management measures are intended to rebuild overfished stocks as soon as possible, taking into account the status and biology of the stocks, the needs of fishing communities, and the interaction of the overfished stocks within the marine ecosystem. In addition to the management measures implemented specifically for the groundfish fisheries, this rule implements a new Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) off Washington State, which will be closed to commercial salmon troll fishing to reduce incidental mortality of yelloweye rockfish in the salmon troll fishery.