Council’s final preferred Alternative for Non-whiting Midwater and Bottom Trawl Fisheries Electronic Monitoring Regulations were selected at the April, 2017 meeting in Sacramento, CA

The Council’s final preferred Alternative for Non-whiting Midwater and Bottom Trawl Fisheries Electronic Monitoring Regulations were selected at the April, 2017 meeting in Sacramento, CA.  Modifications from the FPA adopted in September 2014 are shown in italics.

  1. Alternative 2 – Provide option to use Electronic Monitoring in lieu of Human Observers
  2. Data:Sub-Option A2: Logbook data is used as the primary data source to debit vessel accounts and EM data is used to audit the validity of the logbook
  3. Level of Video Review:Sub-Option B2. The level of review should initially be 100 percent, but NMFS would have the ability, in consultation with the Council, to modify the percentage based on performance and the amount of review necessary to verify the accuracy of logbook information, and the performance of individual operators.
  4. Discard Accounting: Sub-Option C1: All discards would be debited from IFQ accounts
  5. Retention:Sub-Option D2: Optimized retention – Vessel operators would be able to discard those species that can be differentiated on camera
  6. Halibut: new Sub-Option E8 developed by GEMPAC (Agenda Item F.2a Supplemental GEMPAC report): Use a NMFS-approved discard mortality rate (DMR), developed in consultation with the Council, with the intent of finalizing halibut DMRs under EM by November 2017
  7. Vessel Monitoring Plan Expiration: Sub-Option F1 (No Expiration): Vessel monitoring plans would be effective until revised.
  8. Declaration of EM Use: Sub-Option G1: No limit on switching between EM and observers
  9. Data Transfer Process: Sub-Option H1: A representative of the vessel (vessel operator or crew) would be responsible for delivering the hard drive to the EM service provide (Remove portion of Sept 2014 FPA that included Sub-Option H3)
  10. Discard List Adjustments: Provide for NMFS, in consultation to the Council make adjustments to the Discard List. The Council’s intent is to have a process that does not require rulemaking but provides as opportunity to Council consideration of anticipated adjustments prior to adjusting the discard list.
  11. Video Review Provider: Maintain the current practice of having Pacific States perform video review responsibilities but develop protocols for transferring financial responsibility for the video review from NMFS to the industry to be implemented when NMFS can no longer cover these costs. If in the future, the Council decides to consider incorporating a more expansive 3rd party reviewer provision, this separate rule making would require fully articulated program design alternatives and cost information available to make an informed decision on whether moving to 3rd party providers or staying with a sole provider model best meets the goals and objectives of the program.
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