PIFSC Sea Turtle Longline Research EA June 1, 2009
1.6 Anticipated Use of this PEA for Future Research Program Actions
Any individual research project implemented within the described program and documented as consistent with this PEA and its associated decision can be implemented without further compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). However, any site-specific and/or project-specific actions that would be added to the program long-term and not specifically covered under this PEA or other PIFSC PEAs and that would potentially have environmental adverse impacts not evaluated in this PEA will need additional appropriate NEPA analysis in a supplement to this PEA (40 CFR 1502.9) or a new NEPA analysis. Any supplement to this PEA or new NEPA documentation shall not affect the analysis or decisions in this original PEA nor any other proposed project consistent with this PEA or any other PIFSC PEAs unless specifically stated in the subsequent supplement or NEPA document.
Any site-specific or project-specific actions that are not covered in this PEA or another NEPA document and that would not have any additional environmental considerations that have not already been addressed in this PEA or a previous EA, or that are purely administrative, conducted entirely within a laboratory without the use of live subjects caught in the wild for the purpose of the research, or purely technical in nature can be addressed in the research project implementation plan and protocol for the specific project. Possible examples include computer modeling and data analysis or technical support and advice. For any short-term project not consistent with this PEA, a categorical exclusion memorandum can be prepared if in compliance with NOA216-6(a) or (d), and having no exceptions to the use of a categorical exclusion.
2 Alternatives and Mitigation Measures
Alternatives Considered in Detail
No PIFSC research on reducing bycatch in domestic and international longline fisheries (No Action Alternative)
The No Action Alternative involves not conducting PIFSC-sponsored and/or funded efforts at reducing sea turtle bycatch in the domestic and international longline fisheries. Not conducting these activities would be contrary to the current Biological Opinions for the Hawaii-based longline fishery and the Moratorium Protection Act, as well as inconsistent with sea turtle recovery plans (Section 1.3).
2.1.2 PIFSC continues current programs but does not expand those programs (Current Program Alternative)
This alternative encompasses the current field research and technology transfer program conducted by FSBAD for reducing bycatch of sea turtles in domestic and foreign longline fisheries. FSBAD research efforts, including international studies conducted in collaboration with other governmental and nongovernmental entities, as well as in the Hawaii-based longline fleet that have been ongoing would continue. All current research involves no directed take of sea turtles, which would require a Section 10 permit per the Endangered Species Act, and no directed take is proposed for any expansion of the program under the Proposed Action.