| Exemption for large (> 50 ft) U.S. longline vessels to fish in portions of the American Samoa large vessel prohibited areas : including an environmental assessment and regulatory impact review - :14720 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Exemption for large (> 50 ft) U.S. longline vessels to fish in portions of the American Samoa large vessel prohibited areas : including an environmental assessment and regulatory impact review
  • Published Date:
    2016
Filetype[PDF-2.47 MB]


Details:
  • Personal Authors:
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of General Counsel, ; United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Office of Protected Resources, ;
  • Description:
    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) amend federal regulations governing the American Samoa pelagic longline fishery to provide an exemption for longline vessels 50 ft and longer holding an American Samoa longline limited entry permit to fish within certain portions of the large vessel prohibited area (LVPA), see 50 CFR 665.806). Federal regulations prohibit large vessels, defined at 50 CFR 665.12, as vessels equal to or greater than 50 ft in length, from fishing for pelagic management unit species within the LVPA. The proposed action (Alternative 4c) allows large longline vessels to fish inside the LVPA seaward of 12 nm of Swains Island, and Tutuila and Manua Islands. NMFS will continue to prohibit fishing in the LVPA by large purse seine vessels. The fishing requirements for the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument remain unchanged. The Council and NMFS will review annually the effects of the action on catch rates of all pelagic fishery participants, small vessel participation in pelagic fisheries, and sustainable fisheries development initiatives. The action allows large U.S. longline vessels to fish over an additional 16,817 nm² of ocean total, thereby reducing the total area of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around American Samoa that is closed to large longline vessels from 25.5 to 11.3%. The purpose of this action is to provide regulatory relief to large longline vessels in order to improve the efficiency of the American Samoa longline fleet and to promote its economic viability while ensuring fishing by the longline and small vessel fleets remain sustainable on a continual basis.

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