News + Announcements
Proposed Changes to Seabird Measures for Hawaiʻi Deep-Set Longline Fishery (Comments due by November 16, 2023)
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Proposed rule; request for comments.
NMFS proposes to modify seabird interaction mitigation measures to require federally permitted Hawaii deep-set longline vessels that set fishing gear from the stern to use a tori line (bird scaring streamer) in place of the currently required thawed, blue-dyed bait and strategic offal (fish, fish parts, or spent bait) discharge when fishing above 23° N latitude. This action is expected to improve the overall efficacy and operational practicality of required seabird mitigation measures by reducing seabird bycatch and creating operational and administrative efficiency for fishermen and NMFS.
NMFS must receive comments by November 16, 2023.
You may submit comments on this proposed rule, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2022–0131, by either of the following methods:
• Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov and enter NOAA–NMFS–2022–0131 in the Search box, click the “Comment” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
• Mail: Send written comments to Sarah Malloy, Acting Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.
Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information ( e.g., name, address, etc. ), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council and NMFS prepared a draft environmental assessment and regulatory impact review that supports this proposed rule. The draft environmental assessment is available at www.regulations.gov, or from the Council, 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, 808–522–8220, or www.wpcouncil.org.
Lynn Rassel, PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5036.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- Council Press Release – NMFS Proposes Improved Seabird Conservation Measures Based on Western Pacific Council Recommendation (17 October 2023)
- Full proposed rule
- Proposed rule fact sheet with proposed regulatory specifications for the tori line design
- Proposed rule fact sheet (Vietnamese translation)
- Regulatory Amendment including a draft Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Impact Review
- Report of the 2018 Council Workshop Report to Review Seabird Bycatch Mitigation Measures for Hawaii’s Pelagic Longline Fisheries
- 2019-2020 Cooperative Research Project Report: Practicality and Efficacy of Tori Lines to Mitigate Albatross Interactions in the Hawaii Deep-set Longline Fishery
- 2021 Experimental Fishing Permit Study Report: Could tori lines replace blue-dyed bait to reduce seabird bycatch risk in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery?
- Hawaii Fishing News, November 2021 Issue: Collaborative Research Paves Way for Improvements to Seabird Bycatch Reduction Measures