EA/RIR/FRFA to Revise Regulations for Seabird Avoidance Measures in the Hook-and-line Fisheries off Alaska to Reduce the Incidental Take of the Short-tailed Albatross and Other Seabird Species
This Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis analyzes the impacts of revisions to current seabird avoidance measures in the hook-and-line fisheries off Alaska.
This proposed action is based on results from research projects suggested by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee, and conducted by Washington and Alaska Sea Grant Programs (SGP). This research included: 1) hook-and line surveys in waters in and off Alaska, which revealed a rarity of seabird presence in inside waters, and 2) experiments conducted to test efficacy of seabird avoidance gear use on vessels smaller than 55 feet. The research results suggest that the effectiveness of seabird avoidance measures can be improved by strengthening the gear requirements, through construction standards, for use in waters where seabirds are more common, while eliminating requirements in waters where seabirds are rarely observed.