Archive for November, 2011

NOAA Seeks Input on Enforcement Priorities

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

On November 8, 2011, NOAA released a draft of its enforcement priorities and invited the public to submit comments through January 9, 2012 (midnight, Eastern Standard Time). To view the priorities, and how to comment, please see the following NOAA Office of Law Enforcement webpage.

NMFS Publishes Final “List of Fisheries for 2012″

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its final List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2012, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The final LOF for 2012 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. NMFS must classify each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level of serious injury and mortality of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The classification of a fishery in the LOF determines whether participants in that fishery are subject to certain provisions of the MMPA, such as registration, observer coverage, and take reduction plan (TRP) requirements.

This final rule is effective January 1, 2012. Information regarding the LOF, along with the 2012 LOF, may be obtained from the NMFS LOF website.

Pacific Whiting Joint Technical Committee to Meet

Monday, November 28th, 2011

The National Marine Fisheries Service announces the first bilateral meeting of the Pacific Whiting Joint Technical Committee (JTC) to begin implementation of the Whiting Treaty. The meeting will be held in Seattle on Monday and Tuesday, November 28-29, 2011. As an interim measure, Canada will send a working group of industry representatives for this first meeting.

Meeting Logistics:

Dates: November 28-29, 2011
Times: November 28:  1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
November 29:  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: University District Silver Cloud Inn
5036 25th Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Hotel Phone:  206-526-5200

Draft Agenda:

  • Introductions and overview of the JTC and treaty process thus far
  • Summary of the 2011 Pacific hake assessment results
    (executive summary and main points)
  • Discuss and edit working draft of 2012 Terms of Reference (Draft to be finalized and ready to submit to JMC by meeting close)
  • Discuss draft JTC workplan/timeline and data products for exchange

For further information, download the Bilateral Pacific Whiting Joint Technical Committee Meeting Notice/Draft Agenda. You may also contact Mr. Frank Lockart at 206-526-6142 or Mr. Kevin Duffy at 206-526-4743.

Online Webinar: Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review Workshop

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

The NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold an online webinar to review and critique its groundfish stock assessment process in 2011. The online Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review Workshop webinar is open to the public.

Webinar Date and Time

The Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review Workshop webinar will commence at 1 p.m. PST, Thursday, December 8, 2011 and continue until 5 p.m. PST, or as necessary to complete business for the day.

To Join the Online Webinar

To join the online Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review Workshop webinar from the U.S. Pacific time zone, go to https://nwfsc.webex.com/nwfsc/j.php?ED=164913422&UID=1227485477&RT=MiM0. To join the online Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review Workshop webinar from other time zones or to view the webinar in languages other than English, go to https://nwfsc.webex.com/nwfsc/j.php?D=164913422&UID=1227485477&ORT=MiM0. If requested, enter your name, email address, and the meeting number, which is 805–527–249. Click ‘‘join’’ when the login process is completed. No password is required to join the online webinar.

To Join Only the Audio

Call the toll number 1 (408) 600–3600 (note: this is not a toll-free number) and use the access code 805–527–249 when prompted.

Public Listening Station

A public listening station for the Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review Workshop webinar will also be available in the large conference room at the Council office, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220–1384; telephone: (503) 820–2280; (Driving Directions). Other public listening stations may be organized prior to the Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review Workshop. For further information on the additional public listening stations, please call Mr. John DeVore at (503) 820–2280 or Dr. Jim Hastie at (206) 860–3412.

Purpose of the Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review Workshop

The purpose of the Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review Workshop webinar is for participants in the Council’s 2011 stock assessment process to consider the procedures used in 2011 to assess and update groundfish stock abundance and develop recommendations for improving the process for future assessments and future assessment reviews. No management actions will be decided in this workshop. Any recommendations developed at the workshop will be submitted for consideration by the Council at its March 2012 meeting in Sacramento, CA.

Although non-emergency issues not identified in the workshop agenda may come before the workshop participants for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this workshop. Formal action at the workshop will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery
Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the workshop participants’ intent to take final action to address the emergency.

Special Accommodations

This workshop is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at (503) 820–2280 at least 5 days prior to the workshop date.

For Additional Information

For further information on the workshop, please call Mr. John DeVore at (503) 820–2280 or Dr. Jim Hastie at (206) 860–3412.

Final Environmental Assessment for Pacific Halibut Trawl Bycatch Mortality Limit (Amendment 21-1)

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

The following document: FINAL Environmental Assessment: “Trailing Actions for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Trawl Rationalization Program, Including: 1. Pacific Halibut Trawl Bycatch Mortality Limit (Amendment 21-1) and 2. Exemption From the Prohibition on Processing At Sea in the Shorebased IFQ Program” FINAL Environmental Assessment (October 2011) is available on the Council’s Amendment 21-1 webpage.

Oregon Field Guide video explains how trawl catch shares work

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

OPB’s Oregon Field Guide has produced a video that does a good job explaining how trawl catch shares work, from the perspective of a trawl fisherman. See it here.

Pacific Sardine CIE Report Now Available Upon Request

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

The Center for Independent Experts (CIE) made available the report from the October 2011 Pacific sardine STAR Panel meeting. Please contact Mr. Kerry Griffin, Kerry.Griffin@noaa.gov, or call 503-820-2280, ext. 409.

November Groundfish Actions: Biennial Management Process for 2013-2014 Groundfish Fisheries

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

The Council reaffirmed their intent to reduce the scope and number of changes to status quo harvest specifications and management measures for 2013-2014, so as to allow for an orderly start to the groundfish fishery on January 1, 2013.

The Council adopted final overfishing limits (OFLs), final acceptable biological catches (ABCs), and preliminary preferred alternative (PPA) annual catch limits (ACLs) for groundfish stocks and stock complexes with a few changes to status quo. One significant change involves widow rockfish management, as a result of its full rebuilding and removal from the overfished designation; thus the Council selected significantly higher ACLs and a fishery management plan amendment for within trawl sector allocation, for further analysis. The Council adopted only a few new management measures for analysis.

  • Table 1. Final preferred 2013 and 2014 overfishing limits (OFLs in mt) and acceptable biological catches (ABCs in mt) and preliminary preferred 2013 and 2014 annual catch limits (ACLs in mt) for non-overfished west coast groundfish stocks and stock complexes (stocks with new assessments in bold; PPA = preliminary preferred alternative).
  • Table 2. Estimated time to rebuild and spawning potential ratio (SPR) harvest rate relative to alternative 2013-2014 ACLs for overfished west coast groundfish stocks (numbered alternatives are those that were decided for detailed analysis in the DEIS; PPA = preliminary preferred alternative).

Results of the detailed analyses will be presented at the April 2012 Council meeting, where the Council is scheduled to develop final preferred ACLs and a preliminary preferred suite of 2013-2014 management measures. After a public review period, the Council will take final action at the June 2012 Council meeting.

November 2011 Council Meeting Decisions

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) met November 2-7, 2011 in Costa Mesa, California. The November 2011 Council Meeting Decision Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.

November 2011 Council Meeting

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

November 2011 Council Decisions

November 2011 Meeting Minutes

November 2011 Voting Log

November 2011 Briefing Book