Environmental Assessment for Issuing an Exempted Fishing Permit for the Purpose of Testing a Salmon Excluder Device in the Eastern Bering Sea Pollock Fishery
This Environmental Assessment analyzes alternatives on issuance of an exempted fishing permit for continued testing of a salmon excluder device in the Bering Sea pollock trawl fishery.
The experiment would be conducted from the winter pollock A season in 2015 through the winter A season, 2016. The pollock trawl fishery catches up to 95 percent of the Chinook salmon taken incidentally as bycatch in the Bering Sea groundfish fisheries. Salmon excluder devices reduce salmon bycatch in the pollock fishery, reducing potential effects on the salmon stocks and the cost to the pollock fishing industry. This exempted fishing permit would allow the development and testing of a new excluder design to reduce both Chinook salmon and chum salmon bycatch rates without significant negative effects on pollock fishing. The proposed action is not expected to have significant impacts on the human environment.