EA/RIR/IRFA for a Regulatory Amendment to Permit an Investigation of the Effect of Commercial Fishing on Walleye Pollock Distribution and Abundance in Localized Areas off the East Side of Kodiak Island
The EA/RIR/IRFA was prepared to review the potential impacts of establishing a ban on all trawl fishing for groundfish in the Chiniak Gully region off the east side of Kodiak Island in conjunction with Steller sea lion protection measures.
The experiment is being conducted to determine Walleye pollock distribution and abundance in these localized areas. The ban on trawling for groundfish will be in effect August 1 through September 20 for 2003 and 2004. This experiment has been conducted during 2001 and 2002 by emergency interim rule. The Chiniak Gully experiment was chosen because the results will provide information on pollock abundance and distribution that may be used in developing Steller sea lion protection measures for the pollock fishery.