| Environmental assessment for a rule to implement decisions of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission for : fishing restrictions and observer requirements in purse seine fisheries for 2013 and 2014, RIN 0648-BC87 - :4684 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Environmental assessment for a rule to implement decisions of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission for : fishing restrictions and observer requirements in purse seine fisheries for 2013 and 2014, RIN 0648-BC87
  • Published Date:
    2013
Filetype[PDF-6.91 MB]


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Environmental assessment for a rule to implement decisions of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission for : fishing restrictions and observer requirements in purse seine fisheries for 2013 and 2014, RIN 0648-BC87
Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Southwest Region, ; United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of Program Planning and Integration, ;
  • Description:
    "The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is promulgating a rule to implement certain provisions adopted by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish STocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. The specific provisions are part of the 'Conservation and Management Measure for Bigeye, Yellowfin and Skipjack Tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean' (CMM 2012-01) and include the following: (1) limits on fishing effort by U.S. purse seine vessels in the U.S. exclusive economic zone and on the high seas; (2) restrictions on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs); and (3) requirements for U.S. purse seine vessels to carry observers. NMFS prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzed three action alternatives for implementing the purse seine provisions of CMM 2012-01, as well as the No-Action Alternative. Each of the action alternatives includes a different variation of the fishing effort limits. NMFS identified two variations for implementing the Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) restrictions, which were incorporated into the three action alternatives. NMFS identified only one manner of implementing the observer requirements, so all the action alternatives include identical observer requirements. Alternative 1 is the No-Action Alternative. Alternative 2 includes the most restrictive fishing effort limits as well as the FAD restrictions prohibiting fishing on FADs during certain periods. Alternative 3 including the fishing effort limits based on past regulatory precedent, and FAD restrictions prohibiting fishing on FADs and setting on fish that have aggregated in association with a vessel during certain periods. Alternative 4 includes the least restrictive fishing effort alternative as well as FAD restrictions prohibiting fishing on FADs during certain periods. The rule implements Alternative 3, which includes neither the most restrictive nor the least restrictive fishing effort limits, but rather, is based on similar fishing effort limits established in past regulations. The FAD restrictions under Alternative 3 are expected to serve CMM 2012-01's objective of reducing the tuna stocks' fishing mortality rates through seasonal prohibitions on the use of FADs better than the variation for this element of the rule considered under Alternatives 2 and 4"--Summary from cover letter.

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