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Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Groundfish Amendment 28 is Available for Public Review

September 28, 2018

Public Notice: NMFS-SEA-18-16. For information, contact: Gretchen Hanshew (206) 526-6147, Amendment28.wcr@noaa.gov.

NOAA Fisheries is announcing the availability for review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Changes to Groundfish Essential Fish Habitat Conservation Areas and Boundaries of the Trawl Gear Rockfish Conservation Areas and Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan Amendment 28.

The proposed action is intended to protect essential fish habitat and other benthic habitats (including deep sea coral) by closing marine areas off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California to fishing with bottom trawl or bottom contacting gears. The proposed action is also intended to reopen historically productive fishing grounds to vessels fishing bottom trawl gear and participating in the groundfish individual fishing quota (IFQ) program off Oregon and California. In concert, these changes are anticipated to minimize the effects of fishing on EFH to the extent practicable, and increase management flexibility and fishing opportunities in the IFQ program.

The document is accessible electronically through the NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region’s website at the link below. Copies of the document may also be obtained from the comment coordinator, Gretchen Hanshew, at the contact information provided below.

Written comments may be submitted to NOAA Fisheries during the public-comment period (the closing date for the public comment period is noted on our website). Please include the identifier “Groundfish Plan Amendment 28” on the e-mail subject line or fax cover page. Commenting Email Address: Amendment28.wcr@noaa.gov

Thank you in advance for your input and assistance in finalizing the Environmental Impact Statement.

Comment Coordinator:

Gretchen Hanshew, Fishery Management Specialist, NMFS WCR

7600 Sand Point Way NE

Seattle, WA 98115

phone: (206) 526-6147 fax: (206) 526-6426

Please find the Dear Reviewer Letter and DEIS on our website.

Last updated by West Coast Regional Office on July 22, 2019