Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
The Pacific Fishery Management Council office will remain open during the Federal government shutdown, and scheduled meetings will continue to take place. Please call our main number of 503-820-2280 or 866-806-7204 with any questions.
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
Today October 1, 2013, NOAA Fisheries Northwest and Southwest regions are formally merged into a single region: the West Coast Region. The integrated region has a new configuration.
Visit the following:
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Download The Line, Volume 2, No. 4, a publication of the Pacific Fishery Management Council. The Line is a summary of West Coast fisheries news, for fishermen, published five times per year. This issue reports on the decisions made at the September 2013 PFMC meeting.
You may view past issues of the Council’s newsletter and The Line by visiting the Council’s Newsletter Archives webpage.
We are considering making changes to the newsletter. Instead of developing both the newsletter and The Line (our one-page news summary) four times a year, we would create an enhanced version ofthe newsletter, with more background information, related stories, and photos, twice a year, while releasing The Line after every Council meeting. Please direct your comments and thoughts on this proposal or other suggestions to Jennifer.Gilden@noaa.gov, Information and Communications Specialist at 503-820-2280 ext. 418, or toll free 1-866-806-7204.
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
The Pacific Fishery Management Council met September 12-17, 2013 in Boise, Idaho. The September 2013 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
After much discussion at the September Council meeting, the Council identified 17 priority matters for potential legislative change in the reauthorization of the current Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA). The Council took input from several advisory bodies and the public, considered the 128 findings developed at the Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries 3 Conference in May, and considered areas of possible legislative concern not discussed at the national conference.
These priorities will be passed along to the Council Coordination Committee (CCC) meeting in October, for consideration by the other seven Regional Fishery Management Councils in their development of national priorities. The fact that the Pacific Council selected these priorities does not preclude discussion (or later prioritization) of the many conference findings or other ideas that are not included in this list. However, the Council felt that 17 possible legislative items should be elevated to a level of priority concern to the Pacific Council at this time and assigned to the Council staff for further analysis.
In discussing these priorities with the CCC, the Council will emphasize that in general, the Council views the current Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) favorably and that large-scale changes are not necessary; that proposed changes to the MSA should focus on items that require an MSA change to effectively resolve; that final Council prioritization will depend on the details that develop from further analysis of each finding; and that findings that are not currently listed below are not to be considered permanently “off the table.” The items below are listed only for the purpose of identifying high priority items for the Pacific Council at this time. [O1]
The list below is not in priority order.
- Revise rebuilding time requirements: Fix the ten-year rebuilding requirement dilemma; “Don’t chase noise” in rebuilding plans; Address “rebuilding as soon as possible” problems.
- Stocks later determined never overfished should not be held to rebuilding provisions
- Include a viable mixed stock exception
- Clarify criteria regarding needs of fishing communities
- Include a carryover exception to allow annual catch limits (ACLs) to be exceeded in order to carry over surplus and deficit harvest from one year to the next, provided there is a finding from the SSC that such a carryover provision will have negligible biological impacts
- Explore more flexibility for data-poor species where the precautionary approach
limits information on stock performance under higher catch rates
- Implement stricter imported seafood labeling requirements in the US market
- Address rebuilding requirements when environmental conditions may be a predominant factor in a stock’s decline
- Consider a national standard for habitat: “Minimize adverse impacts on essential fish habitat to the extent practicable”
- Explore options to improve access to currently confidential harvest or processing information for purposes of enhanced socioeconomic analysis
- Make a distinction between “overfishing” (a measure of fishing rate) and “overfished” (a measure of abundance)
- Replace the term “overfished” with “depleted” to account for non-fishing causes of stock size below minimum stock size threshold
- Amend MSA to change “vessels” to “vessel” in the illegal, unreported and unregulated certification section
- Designate one Commissioner seat on Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission for the Pacific Council
- Address social and economic issues such as ‘possible’ to ‘practicable’ in MSA section 304(e)(4)(A)(i).
- Better align and streamline the National Environmental Policy Act & MSA section 304(i)
- Provide flexibility in requirements and qualifications for observers. This relates to MSA Title 4, Fishery Monitoring and Research.
The Council also considered a proposal from the Makah Tribe regarding term limits and the application process for the tribal seat on the Pacific Council, but decided to notice further comment from tribal governments and the public before making a decision on it as a general priority matter for further analysis. Further input is scheduled for the November, 2013 Council meeting in Costa Mesa California.
For more information on the findings and priorities, see the Legislative Committee report and/or contact Jennifer.Gilden@noaa.gov.
[O1]These are not just for the CCC meeting. They are for anyone who asks, like the House or the Senate. They are for the Pacific Council staff, to look into in greater detail.
Monday, August 26th, 2013
The Briefing Book for the September 2013 Council meeting has been posted to the Council’s website on the “Briefing Book” webpage. The Briefing Book contains “situation summaries” (brief summaries that provide background for each agenda item), reports and materials for each agenda item, and written public comment.
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Council to Consider a Variety of Issues Affecting Management of Future Groundfish, Halibut, and Salmon Fisheries
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory bodies will meet September 11‐17, 2013 in Boise, Idaho to address issues related to groundfish, Pacific halibut, salmon, ecosystem based management, and habitat matters.
Please visit the “Current Council Meeting” webpage for the meeting notice and agenda details.
Monday, August 12th, 2013
The ad hoc Ecosystem Workgroup Report on Revising the Federal List of Fisheries and Gear Authorized for Use in the West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone is now available. It will also be included in the September Council briefing book.
As required by law, the National Marine Fisheries Service maintains a list of all fisheries and fishing gear authorized for use within each area under Council jurisdiction. No person or vessel is permitted to “employ fishing gear or engage in a fishery not included on such list without giving 90 days advance written notice to the appropriate Council…” The list of fisheries essentially prohibits anyone from developing a new fishery without first providing a review opportunity to the appropriate Council. Fisheries not on the list are not prohibited altogether, but Councils may use the 90-day period to comment on, develop a regulatory plan for, or recommend that NMFS prohibit the proposed fishery as appropriate.
At its June 2013 meeting in Garden Grove, California, the Council discussed potential revisions to the federal list of fisheries and gear authorized for the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ, 3-200 nautical miles offshore). At that meeting, the Council provided instructions on making modifications to the proposed revisions to the federal list of authorized fisheries and gear and those changes are incorporated in the table.
Several of the fisheries listed in the table are divided by latitude line to reflect different fishery regulations in the three coastal states, Washington, Oregon, and California. Fisheries or gear restrictions that occur only off Washington are listed as applying north of 46°15’ N. lat. Fisheries or gear restrictions that occur only off Oregon are listed as applying south of 46°15’ N. lat. and north of 42° N. lat. Fisheries or gear restrictions that occur only off California are listed as applying south of 42° N. lat. Some fisheries or gear restrictions may apply off two states, or off all three states. If the Council adopts these latitude lines dividing where gear types may be used, those lines would apply to vessels operating in the EEZ regardless of where a vessel was based or the location of the port in which the vessel would land its fish.
The Council will be discussing its recommendations for revising this list at its September 12-17 meeting in Boise, Idaho. Comments on whether this list accurately represents existing West Coast EEZ fisheries is appreciated; please email email@example.com by midnight, September 2.
Friday, August 9th, 2013
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting via teleconference of the ad hoc Ecosystem Work Group that is open to the public. A listening station will be available at the Council office for interested members of the public. Please note, this is not a public hearing; it is a work session for the primary purpose of reviewing and addressing Council direction to the ad hoc Ecosystem Work Group, considering next steps in protecting unmanaged forage fish, finalizing recommendations to the Council on the Federal list of authorized West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone fisheries, and other items related to the September 2013 Council meeting.
The meeting will be held on Thursday, August 29, 2013, beginning at 12 noon and concluding at 3 p.m., or when business is completed.
A listening station will be made available to the public, at the Council office:
Pacific Fishery Management Council
Small Conference Room
7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101
Portland, Oregon 97220-1384
This meeting 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 five days prior to the meeting date.
For further information about the ad hoc Ecosystem Work Group work session, please contact Ms. Jennifer Gilden at 503-820-2280, ext. 418; toll free 1-866-806-7204.
Friday, August 9th, 2013
September 2013 Briefing Book Public Comment Deadlines
Public Comment Deadline – Advance Briefing Book
Public comment materials received BY 11:59 pm, August 21, 2013, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the meeting. This is known as the “Advance Briefing Book Deadline.”
Supplemental Public Comment Deadline
Public comments or materials received at the Council office after August 21 but BY 11:59 pm, September 2 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the meeting. This is known as the “Supplemental Public Comment Deadline.”
See the Council’s Briefing Book Webpage for complete details on how to submit comments.