Final Environmental Impact Statement; Seabird Interaction Avoidance Methods and Pelagic Squid Fishery Management

December 17, 2018

Reducing the adverse effects of interactions with seabirds from vessels authorized to fish under Hawaii longline limited entry permits and enhancing the monitoring of U.S. squid jig fisheries.

Two potential actions are assessed in this document. The objective of the first action is to reduce the adverse effects of interactions with seabirds from vessels authorized to fish under Hawaii longline limited entry permits. Longline fishing operations of these vessels result in the inadvertent hooking, entangling and killing of black-footed and Laysan albatrosses that nest in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. On rare occasions wedge-tailed and sooty shearwaters are also incidentally caught by these vessels. There is the potential for vessels in this fleet to interact with the endangered short-tailed albatross, although no such interaction has been documented. Information regarding new ways to reduce seabird interactions, including the use of side-setting and underwater setting chutes, recently has become available through cooperative research with fishery participants. This environmental impact statement analyzes alternatives to reduce the effects of seabird interactions in the Hawaii limited entry longline fishery. A range of methods to reduce interaction rates, singly and in combination, are analyzed for efficacy in reducing seabird interactions, operational practicability, likelihood of compliance, and cost.

The objective of the second action assessed in this document is enhanced monitoring of the United States squid jigging fisheries, including a nascent high seas industrial-scale fishery and several coastal smallboat fisheries in Hawaii. Two independent sets of alternatives for monitoring of these fisheries are evaluated that would effect new or modified management regimes authorized under the Magnuson Stevens Act or the High Seas Fishing Compliance Act

Last updated on 12/17/2018