Final Draft EA/RIR/IRFA for a Regulatory Amendment to Revise Regulations for Seabird Avoidance Measures in the Hook-and-line Fisheries off Alaska in International Pacific Halibut Commission Area 4E
This Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis analyzes the impacts of potential revisions to seabird avoidance (seabird bycatch) measures used in the hook-and-line fisheries conducted in the Bering Sea.
This proposed action is based on a review of satellite tagging studies depicting endangered short-tailed albatrosses’ usage of Bering Sea habitat and hook-and-line fisheries’ spatial and temporal harvest of Pacific halibut and Pacific cod in the eastern Bering Sea. Alternatives in this analysis eliminate or modify the required use of seabird avoidance measures for different vessel size classes in IPHC Area 4E.
The objective of this proposed regulatory amendment is to improve the efficiency of current seabird avoidance requirements by relieving unnecessary regulatory burden and its associated costs in areas where the incidental take of short-tailed albatrosses and other species of conservation concern is extremely low.