Preliminary Draft EIS Re: Chum Salmon Bycatch on NPFMC’s October Docket

Image: North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Management issues related to non-Chinook salmon bycatch, particularly bycatch of chum salmon, are on the agenda for the October meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, which is set for Oct. 2-10 at the Hilton Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska. 

According to the council’s website, a preliminary review draft, which was slated to come before a council initial review draft, is on the docket for the meeting. Publication of a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) draft environmental impact statement (EIS) is not expected to happen before next year, Julie Fair, a spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries in Juneau, said.

A Federal Register announcement on the proposed rule regarding salmon bycatch, posted on July 11, noted that written comment would be accepted through Sept. 15.

The bycatch regulations are aimed by minimizing chum bycatch of western Alaska origin in accordance with the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 

Management measures analyzed in this EIS would apply exclusively to participants in the Bering Sea pollock fishery, managed under the fishery management plan for groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, and consistent with the Magnuson-Steens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, National Standards, and other applicable law.

The scope of the EIS is intended to analyze the impacts to the human environment resulting from alternatives for measures to minimize non-Chinook salmon bycatch. 

Public comments can be submitted electronically via by entering NOAA-NMFS-2023-0089 in the search box. Then click on the “comment” icon, complete the required fields and enter or attach your comments.

Comments may also be mailed to Gretchen Harrington, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Susan Meyer. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802–1668.