Bering Sea Aleutian Islands Crab Fisheries Final Environmental Impact Statement

August 17, 2004

The purpose of this Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is to provide decision-makers and the public with an evaluation of the environmental, social, and economic effects of alternative management programs for the Bering  Sea  and  Aleutian  Islands  (BSAI) crab  fisheries.  

It  is  intended  that  this  EIS  serve  as  the  central environmental  document  for  management  measures  developed by  NOAA  Fisheries  and  the  Council  to implement the provisions of the proposed program.  NOAA Fisheries determined that this proposed action was  a  major  federal  action  with  potentially  significant  impacts  on  the human  environment,  therefore,preparation of an EIS level analysis was considered appropriate.

The  EIS  contains  three  appendices:  a  regulatory  impact  review/initial  regulatory  flexibility  analysis(RIR/IRFA), the Council's reports to Congress and the Congressional action, and a social impact assessment.The RIR/IRFA analyzes the economic impacts of the elements and options from which the EIS alternatives were developed. The RIR/IRFA includes a net benefit analysis of the preferred alternative.  Although specific benefits cannot be quantified, net benefits should arise from implementation of the preferred alternative.These  net  benefits  arise  from  gains  in  harvesting  and  processing  efficiency,  consumer  benefits,  and environmental benefits.  The Council’s reports to Congress, the Congressional action (including the statutory language  that  amends  the  Magnuson-Stevens  Act),  and  related  documents  provide  the  history  of Congressional consideration of a rationalization program for the BSAI crab fisheries.  The social impact assessment provides detailed analyses of the impact of the alternatives on communities and regions.

The Council has identified that the BSAI crab fisheries require a concerted effort to manage capacity.  In an effort to alleviate the problems caused by excess capacity and the race for fish, the Council has determined that the institution of some form of rationalization program is needed to improve crab fisheries management in  accordance  with  the  Magnuson-Stevens  Act.    The  need  for  a  rationalized  crab  management  regime  is explained in the Council’s BSAI Crab Rationalization Problem Statement

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 12/04/2018

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