National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration September 7, 2018 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Groundfish Bottom Trawl and Midwater Trawl Gear in the Trawl Rationalization Program
Document Number: 2018-19343
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2018-09-07
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes revising Federal regulations that restrict the use and configuration of bottom and midwater trawl gear for vessels fishing under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery's Trawl Rationalization Program. The gear restrictions were originally implemented to limit discarding and protect overfished rockfish species. These restrictions are no longer necessary because of changes to the fishery, including implementation of the Trawl Rationalization Program in 2011, and improved status of a number of overfished rockfish stocks. By eliminating these regulations, the proposed action could increase flexibility in how vessels can use and configure gear to increase access to target stocks and efficiency of fishing practices, while still limiting the catch of target and non-target discards to meet the conservation objectives of the Trawl Rationalization Program.
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