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Agency extends comment period on environmental document


September 19, 2003
Friday - 12:50 am

National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) officials have extended the public comment period on the Alaska Region's Revised Draft Alaska Groundfish Fisheries Programmatic Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (PSEIS) through November 6, 2003. A Federal Register notice is being prepared.

The finalized document will guide future management of groundfish fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, the largest fisheries in U.S. waters.

"This is an important and lengthy document," said Alaska's Regional Administrator, Jim Balsiger. "We've put years of work into the document, and we would like to offer people additional time to look it over and give us their thoughts before we put out a final."

The National Environmental Policy Act draft document summarizes the agency's current scientific understanding of the Alaska groundfish fisheries, the status of marine resources, and the cumulative effects of commercial groundfish fishing on the North Pacific marine ecosystem. It also presents the agency's preferred future management policy for these valuable fisheries while revealing projected environmental and social consequences.

The document will be finalized after public comments are considered. The final PSEIS will provide the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries, and the public with critical information on the fisheries' status and environmental impacts. The PSEIS also will serve as the primary environmental review document supporting fishery management plans in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Aleutians Islands.

The 7,000 page document can be viewed online on the agency website,, or may be obtained from Steve Davis at (907) 271-3523.

Comments may be submitted online at: or by writing to:

James W. Balsiger
Alaska Regional Administrator, NOAA Fisheries
P.O. Box 21668
Juneau, AK 99802

NOAA Fisheries has already held public meetings on the PSEIS, in Silver Springs, Maryland, in Seattle, Washington, and in Juneau.

A public meeting is scheduled in Kodiak on September 24, 2003, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center Kodiak Laboratory, Kodiak Fisheries Research Center Conference Room 301, Research Ct. Local (Contact: Tom Pearson, (907) 481-1780.) A public meeting will follow in Anchorage on October 7, 2003, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel, 401 E 6th Avenue. (Local Contact: Steve Davis, (907) 271-3523.)

Both meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Steve Davis at (907) 271-3523 at least seven working days prior to the meeting date.


Related Document:

Revised Draft Alaska Groundfish Fisheries Programmatic Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (PSEIS


Source of News Release:

National Marine Fisheries Service - Alaska Region
Web Site


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