| Environmental assessment : specification of an annual catch limit and accountability measures for Main Hawaiian Islands non-Deep 7 bottomfish fisheries in fishing years 2015 through 2018, (RIN 0648-XD558) - :12935 | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Stacks Logo
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.
 
 
Help
Clear All Simple Search
Advanced Search
Environmental assessment : specification of an annual catch limit and accountability measures for Main Hawaiian Islands non-Deep 7 bottomfish fisheries in fishing years 2015 through 2018, (RIN 0648-XD558)
  • Published Date:
    2015
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.42 MB]


Details:
  • Personal Authors:
  • Description:
    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended that NMFS specify multi-year annual catch limits (ACL) and accountability measures (AM) effective in fishing years 2015-2018, the environmental effects of which are analyzed in this document. NMFS proposes to implement the specifications for fishing year 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 separately prior to each fishing year. The specifications pertain to ACLs for non-Deep 7 bottomfish fisheries in federal waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ; generally 3-200 nautical miles or nm) around the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI), and a post-season accountability measure (AM) to correct the overage of the ACL if it occurs. For the purpose of ACLs, MHI non-Deep 7 bottomfish include uku (Aprion virescens), white ulua (Caranx ignoblis), black ulua (Caranx lugubris), yellowtail kalekale (Pristipomoides auricilla), and butaguchi (Pseudocaranx dentex). The proposed ACL is associated with a less than a 30 percent probability of overfishing. The fishing year for MHI non-Deep 7 bottomfish begins January 1 and ends December 31 annually. Unless modified by NMFS, the ACL and AM would be applicable in fishing years 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Each fishing year, non-Deep 7 bottomfish catches from both local state/territorial waters (generally from the shoreline to three miles offshore), and federal waters of the EEZ around the MHI would be counted towards the specified ACL. The State of Hawaii collects commercial bottomfish catch data from fishing vessels operating in both state and federal waters. However, this data is generally not available until at least six months after the end of each fishing year. NMFS collects non-commercial bottomfish catch data from fishing vessels operating in federal waters on a per trip-basis. However, there have been no non-commercial bottomfish catch reported in federal waters since 2011, and there is no noncommercial catch reporting mechanism for state waters. Therefore, in-season monitoring of catch, and in-season AMs applied in federal waters to prevent the ACL from being exceeded (e.g., fishery closures) are not possible; only post-season AMs are possible. Specifically, after the end of each fishing year, if NMFS and the Council determines that the average catch from the most recent three-year period exceeds the specified ACL, NMFS would reduce the ACL in the subsequent fishing years by the amount of the overage. Prior to implementing a reduced ACL, NMFS would conduct additional environmental analyses, if necessary, and the public would have the opportunity to provide input and comment on the reduced ACL specification at that time. If an ACL is exceeded more than once in a four-year period, the Council is required to reevaluate the ACL process, and adjust the system, as necessary, to improve its performance and effectiveness. The proposed action is needed to comply with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and is consistent with the provisions of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Hawaii Archipelago, through which require NMFS specifies ACLs and AMs for all federally managed species. The Council recommended the ACL and AMs and developed its recommendations in accordance with the ACL process approved by NMFS, and in consideration of the best available scientific, commercial, and other information. NMFS prepared this environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the proposed ACL specification and AM in fishing years 2015 through 2018. The EA includes a description of the information and methods used by the Council to develop the proposed ACLs, and alternatives to the proposed ACL specifications. The analysis in the EA indicates that the proposed ACL specifications and post-season AMs would not result in large beneficial or adverse effects on target, non-target, or bycatch species, protected species or on marine habitats. This is because the proposed federal action regardless of which alternative is selected, would not limit or constrain non-Deep 7 bottomfish catch in the MHI, or change the conduct of the commercial or non-commercial MHI non-Deep 7 bottomfish fisheries in any way. Therefore, impacts of the proposed action would be unchanged from the status quo. Copies of this EA and final rule can be found by searching on RIN 0648-XD558 at www.regulations.gov, or by contacting the responsible official or Council at the above address.

  • Document Type:
No Related Documents.
You May Also Like: