Environmental Assessment for the Issuance of an Exempted Fishing Permit for Feasibility Testing of Using Commerial Pollock Fishing Vessels for Acoustic Surveys within Portions of Steller Sea Lion Critical Habitat Areas in the Aleutian Islands Subarea
Environmental Assessment (EA) of the potential impacts of issuing an exempted fishing permit (EFP) to allow pollock fishing vessels to conduct acoustic surveys and limited pollock harvest within selected areas of Steller sea lion critical habitat in the Aleutian Islands Subarea.
The purpose of the EFP is to test the feasibility of using commercial fishing vessels for acoustic surveys for determining pollock biomass and distribution. Exemption from certain pollock fishing closure areas within Steller sea lion critical habitat in the Aleutian Islands subarea would be necessary to ensure sufficient quantities of pollock are encountered to conduct the test. The project is intended to improve the Aleutian Islands pollock stock assessment, conservation, and management. The analysis found no significant impacts on the human environment for this action.