Biological Opinion of the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the Operation of Hawaii-based Pelagic Longline Fisheries, Shallow Set and Deep Set, Hawaii
The Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) was completed in 2000 and addressed the take of short-tailed albatross. In 2002, the BO was reinitiated as a result of the court-ordered suspension of he swordfish or shallow set fishery for the protection of sea turtles. In 2002, a BO was completed to address the effect of the deep set fishery on short-tailed albatross. The incidental take statement in the 2002 BO for the Hawaii-based longline fisheries expired on December 31, 2006.The consultation was reinitiated in 2004 for the shallow set fishery and short-tailed albatross when the fishery was re-opened after addressing concerns related to interactions with sea turtles. We finalized an informal consultation for the modifications of the shallow set fishery due to the implementation of Amendment 18 to the Fishery Management Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region (Amendment 18) in 2008. The USFWS concurred with NMFS determination that the proposed change to the shallow set fishery may affect, but was not likely to adversely affect the short-tailed albatross during a one-year period beginning January 1, 2009, and ending December 31, 2009. This BO consolidates and updates the previously separate opinions covering the Hawaii-based shallow set and deep set longline fisheries to enable effective administration, monitoring, and implementation of the ESA requirements to protect short-tailed albatross.