|NOAA NMFS 2000-33AKR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carol Tocco
Authorizes Groundfish Fisheries in the Bering Sea & Gulf of Alaska
Appropriations legislation from Congress requires the 2001 Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries to be managed in accordance with the fishery management plans and federal regulations in effect for such fisheries prior to July 15, 2000. Therefore, NOAA Fisheries officials announced today that the groundfish fisheries off Alaska for gear other than trawl gear will open on January 1, and will be conducted temporarily under the groundfish fishery management plans and regulations that were in effect for such fisheries prior to July 15, 2000.
Prior to the enactment of the appropriations legislation, NOAA Fisheries had determined that it was impracticable to publish harvest specifications for the 2001 groundfish fisheries until NOAA Fisheries had issued its comprehensive biological opinion evaluating these fisheries. However, this legislation directs NOAA Fisheries to use all provisions of the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) groundfish fishery management plans and implementing regulations that were in effect for these fisheries as of July 14, 2000 to govern the 2001 BSAI and GOA groundfish fisheries until further notice. Additional information regarding the fishery specifications that were in effect on July 14, 2000, can be found at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov.
The appropriations legislation also states that by January 20, 2001, the secretary of commerce shall amend the regulations that were restored to full force and effect. Consequently, NOAA Fisheries intends to publish an emergency rule by January 20, 2001, that will implement additional regulations that will govern all BSAI and GOA groundfish fisheries for up to 180 days under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
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