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Vertical Line Action


NOAA Fisheries announced its intent on June 14, 2011 to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to amend the ALWTRP. NOAA Fisheries hosted a series of public scoping meetings along the east coast. The public had the opportunity to attend the meetings and provide input on the range of actions that should be considered in the EIS.

NMFS held public hearing sessions in August and September 2013 as an opportunity for public to provide feedback on proposed conservation measures intended to reduce the risk of serious injury and mortality of large whales due to entanglements in vertical lines.

The Draft EIS was distributed on July 13, 2013 and was available for comment through September 13, 2013.

A Notice of Availability of the Final EIS was published on May 16, 2014.

A Record of Decision (ROD) was signed on June 20, 2014. The ROD denotes the Agency’s decision to select the Preferred Alternative as its preferred strategy for reducing the risk of serious injury and mortality of large whales from entanglement in vertical line. This strategy includes (1) a minimum number of traps per trawl required in the Northeast based on area fished and miles from shore; (2) a seasonal trap/pot closure; (3) weaker weak links and breaking strength of vertical line in the Southeast; and (4)  new gear marking requirements coast wide.

More Information

Final EIS

Volume  I.

Volume II.