The 30-day public comment period began Thursday on the draft environmental assessment of the effects of issuing an incidental take permit for sturgeon and sea turtles to the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.
The draft document is available on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website. Public comment ends Sept. 11.
The division submitted Dec. 2 the Endangered Species Act Section 10 incidental take permit application and conservation plan to the National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Protected Resources for the incidental take of shortnose sturgeon, Atlantic sturgeon, and Kemp’s ridley, leatherback, hawksbill, green and loggerhead sea turtles associated with the otherwise lawful commercial inshore gillnet fishery in the state. The permit will be active for 10 years.
Because issuing an incidental take permit is a major federal action, the National Marine Fisheries Service is required to conduct a National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, analysis on the effects of issuing the incidental take permit and publish the document summarizing this analysis.
This analysis is in the draft environmental assessment that was published in the Federal Register Thursday.
Public comments may be submitted electronically by Sept. 11 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. Enter [NOAA-NMFS-2023-0098] in the search box. Click on the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
For more information, visit the Notice of Availability.