Categorical Exclusion for the Corrections to the Final Rule Implementing Steller Sea Lion Protection Measures for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) and the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Groundfish Fisheries
Corrections are needed to the regulatory text and tables to implement Pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel fishing restrictions around certain haulouts and rookeries and to ensure consistency with the American Fisheries Act (AFA) regulations implementing Amendments 61/61/13/8 (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002). The corrections are considered noncontroversial. This action is necessary to minimize confusion and ensure effective implementation of the Steller sea lion protection measures.
After reviewing those portions of the action that provide (1) renumbering of paragraphs, (2) corrections to cross-references, (3) alignment of text, and (4) corrections to 0MB control number references, in relation to NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6, including the criteria used to determine significance, we have concluded that those portions would not have a significant effect, individually or cumulatively, on the human environment. In addition, a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) was prepared November 2001, for the final rule implementing the Steller sea lion protection measures (68 FR 204, January 2, 2003). The scope of the SEIS includes the potential impacts of those portions of the action that correct tables 4 through 6 which specify fishing restrictions. Based on the nature of the action and the previous environmental analysis, we have concluded that the proposed action is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement, in accordance with Section 5.05b of NAO 216-6.