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PIFSC Sea Turtle Longline Research EA June 1, 2009

Table of Contents

Purpose and Need ................................................................................

1.1 1.2

Summary of the Proposed Action................................................ Need for Action............................................................................

1.2.1 1.2.2 1.2.3

Introduction to Longline Gear and Fishing Methodologies. Status of Sea Turtles ............................................................ Worldwide Interactions of Longline Sets and Sea Turtles ..

1.3

Regulatory Basis for Reducing Sea Turtle Bycatch in Domestic

Longline Fisheries....................................................................................

1.4

Scope of Analysis of this EA.......................................................

1

................................... 1 ................................... 1 ................................... 2 ................................... 2 ................................... 4 ................................... 6 and International ................................. 12 ................................. 13

      • 1.4.1

        Temporal Scope .................................................................................................... 13

      • 1.4.2

        Permit Requirements............................................................................................. 14

      • 1.4.3

        Spatial Scope of this PEA..................................................................................... 14

      • 1.4.4

        Scope of Decisions to be Made............................................................................. 14

      • 1.4.5

        Species caught as bycatch or targeted fisheries not included in scope of PEA

decision with rationale .......................................................................................................... 15

1.5 1.6

Issues Not Considered in Detail in this PEA with Rationale........................................ 16 Anticipated Use of this PEA for Future Research Program Actions............................ 20

Alternatives and Mitigation Measures.................................................................................. 20

2.1

Alternatives Considered in Detail................................................................................. 20

2

2.1.1

No PIFSC research on reducing bycatch in domestic and international longline

3

fisheries (No Action Alternative).......................................................................................... 20

      • 2.1.2

        PIFSC continues current programs but does not expand those programs (Current Program Alternative) ............................................................................................................ 20

      • 2.1.3

        PIFSC continues to conduct research on modified longline gear and expands program for transfer of successful technology to foreign fleets (Proposed Action)............. 23

    • 2.2

      Conservation Actions Taken by Other Entities ............................................................ 26

    • 2.3

      Alternatives Not Considered in Detail.......................................................................... 26

    • 2.4

      ESA-Driven Measures for the Hawaii-Based Longline Fishery................................... 27

    • 2.5

      Mitigation in Foreign Fleets.......................................................................................... 27 Environmental Consequences............................................................................................... 27

    • 3.1

      No PIFSC research on reducing bycatch in domestic and international longline

fisheries (No Action Alternative).............................................................................................. 27 3.2 Current and Expanded Programs: PIFSC research on reducing bycatch in domestic and international longline fisheries (Current Program Alternative and Proposed Action)....... 28

4 5

      • 3.2.1

        Potential Impacts to Sea Turtles ........................................................................... 28

      • 3.2.2

        Potential Impacts to Cetaceans ............................................................................. 31

      • 3.2.3

        Potential Impacts to Shark Populations ................................................................ 34

      • 3.2.4

        Summary of Cumulative Impacts and Climate Change Contributions................. 34

List of Preparers.................................................................................................................... 35 Literature Cited ..................................................................................................................... 37

ii

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