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ATLANTIC LARGE WHALE TAKE REDUCTION PLAN

Information on the ALWTRP Environmental Impact Statements

2007 ALWTRP Broad-Based Gear Modifications Action

Overview

NOAA Fisheries completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement to amend the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP) to include broad-based gear modifications in August 2007. A Record of Decision (ROD) was signed on September 21, 2007. The ROD documents the Agency's decision to select the Preferred Alternative as its preferred strategy to reduce the risk of serious injury and mortality to large whales from entanglements in commercial fishing gear. This strategy includes among other requirements (1) broad-based gear modifications (weak links, sinking groundline, anchoring, gear marking, etc.) in specific times and areas that would replace the SAM and DAM programs; (2) the addition of other trap/pot and gillnet fisheries under the ALWTRP regulations; (3) an expansion of exempted waters; and (4) modifications to other regulatory changes for the purposes of clarification and consistency.

NOAA Fisheries announced its intent on June 30, 2003 to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to amend the ALWTRP. NOAA Fisheries hosted a series of public scoping meetings in Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Florida. The public had the opportunity to attend the meetings and provide input on the range of actions that should be considered in the EIS.

The Draft EIS was distributed on February 25, 2005 and was available for comment through May 16, 2005.

A Notice of Availability of the Final EIS was published on August 17, 2007.

Final EIS

VOLUME I.

VOLUME II.

More Information