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Environmental Assessment for Issuing an Exempted Fishing Permit for the Purpose of Testing a Salmon Excluder Device in the Eastern Bering Sea Pollock Fishery
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    This Environmental Assessment analyzes alternatives to issue an exempted fishing permit for testing of a salmon excluder device in the Central Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Pollock trawl fishery. The experiment would be conducted during the spring and fall of 2013 and 2014. The Pollock trawl industry continues to experience Chinook salmon bycatch even though salmon bycatch measures are in place. Salmon excluder devices have been tested in the Bering Sea and are successful in reducing salmon bycatch. The purpose of extending these tests to the GOA is to test the potential of these devices for reducing Chinook salmon bycatch and lowering the cost of bycatch measures on the Pollock fishing industry. This exempted fishing permit would allow for development and testing of a salmon excluder device in the GOA with focused efforts on reducing Chinook salmon bycatch and refinement in the design and operation of the salmon excluder device. The proposed action is not expected to have significant impacts on the human environment.

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