Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on Phase 2 Modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan
NOAA Fisheries intends to begin a rulemaking process to amend the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (Plan) to reduce the risk of mortalities and serious injuries of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) and other large whales caused by incidental entanglement in commercial trap/pot and gillnet fisheries along the U.S. East Coast. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to analyze the impacts to the environment of alternatives to amend the Plan. Scoping on the modifications to the Plan was held from August 10, 2021 through October 21, 2021 to gather input on reducing the risk of the gillnet, Atlantic mixed species trap/pot, and Mid-Atlantic lobster and Jonah crab trap/pot fisheries not included in modifications to the Plan published on September 17, 2021 (86 FR 51970).
The comment period opens September 9, 2022 and closes October 11, 2022. To submit written comments, go to regulations.gov and enter docket # NOAA-NMFS-2022-0091 or go directly to the comment page. We will be holding a webinar scoping meeting on September 27, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. to accept verbal public comments.