The National Marine Fisheries Service is taking public comment on proposed revisions to Steller sea lion protections in the western Aleutian Islands that could lead to more commercial fishing of Pacific cod, pollock and Atka mackerel.
Speegle: “A notice of availability for the draft environmental impact statement will publish in the national registry this Friday [May 17th] and that will open up a 60-day comment period on the draft environmental impact statement on those sea lion protection measures.”
NOAA’s Julie Speegle says there are five alternatives.
One would maintain the status quo. The other four, including the agency’s preferred alternative, would modify restrictions but require additional monitoring and enforcement.
The agency in 2011 closed most fishing in the western Aleutians.
The state of Alaska and fishing groups sued.
A federal court judge ruled that the agency had properly put strict protections in place in compliance with the Endangered Species Act but had not provided sufficient public review of the measures.