Groundfish blog

Public Comment Deadline for the September 2017 Briefing Book

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

September 2017 Advance Briefing Book Public Comment Deadline

Public comment materials received BY 5:00 pm (Pacific Time), Tuesday, August 15, 2017, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the September meeting. This is known as the “Advance Briefing Book Deadline.”

Supplemental Public Comment Deadline

Public comment materials received at the Council office after the August 15, 5:00 pm deadline, but BY 5:00 pm (Pacific Time), Tuesday, September 5, 2017 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the September meeting. This is known as the “Supplemental Public Comment Deadline.”

How to Submit Comments

See the Council’s Briefing Book Public Comment Deadlines webpage for complete details on how to submit comments.  If your comments contain a PowerPoint presentation or video, please review the Council’s Protocol for Submitting Electronic Slide Presentation and Video Materials at the Meeting.

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Two Important Groundfish Stocks Rebuilt

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

 

Bocaccio. NOAA Fisheries

Two important West Coast groundfish stocks that were formerly overfished have now been rebuilt.

Bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish, which are managed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, were under strict rebuilding plans that have constrained West Coast fisheries for more than a decade. Bocaccio was declared overfished in 1999, and darkblotched rockfish in 2000; both were rebuilt well before their original target dates.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils that manage ocean fisheries in the United States. Altogether, the Pacific Council manages more than 100 species of groundfish.

Managing groundfish fisheries under rebuilding plans has been an immense challenge for the Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries). These plans required sharp reductions in commercial and recreational fisheries targeting groundfish, which included widespread fishing closures through the establishment of Rockfish Conservation Areas off the West Coast and other measures. Since 2003, managing overfished species through area closures such as the Rockfish Conservation Areas has helped to reduce fishing impacts and rebuild overfished groundfish species. In addition, the groundfish fleet has had to limit fishing for other more abundant species to avoid unintentional catch of the overfished stocks.

Darkblotched rockfish. Image courtesy of Lewis and Clark Legacy 2001/NOAA OER

“The rebuilding strategies used to achieve this conservation success, coupled with favorable environmental conditions for groundfish productivity, have paid huge dividends in rebuilding our overfished groundfish stocks and resurrecting West Coast groundfish fisheries,” said Council Chair Herb Pollard.

The successful rebuilding of these species reflects the support and sacrifice of West Coast ports and fishermen who recognized the difficult actions and fishing cutbacks necessary to restore the stocks. The rebuilding of bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish will lead to increased harvest opportunities beginning in 2019.

“By working together, we’ve brought bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish back to where they will again be part of a sustainable West Coast groundfish fishery that creates renewed opportunity for the fishing fleet, as well as more options for seafood consumers,” said Barry Thom, Regional Administrator of NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region.

Between 1999 and 2017, ten West Coast groundfish stocks were declared overfished, as surveys documented their declining numbers. Pacific whiting, for example, was declared overfished in 2002. The Council, working with NOAA Fisheries and the fishing industry, reduced commercial harvests. Combined with strong reproduction and recruitment, the fishing cutbacks led to the rapid rebuilding of Pacific whiting by 2004. The Council and NOAA Fisheries developed rebuilding plans for the other nine overfished stocks—bocaccio, darkblotched rockfish, lingcod, canary rockfish, cowcod, Pacific ocean perch, widow rockfish, petrale sole, and yelloweye rockfish.

Lingcod was declared rebuilt in 2005, and widow rockfish in 2012. Both petrale sole and canary rockfish were declared rebuilt in 2015. Rebuilding plans remain in place for three remaining overfished species: cowcod, Pacific ocean perch, and yelloweye rockfish. New assessments for Pacific ocean perch and yelloweye rockfish will be reviewed this summer and may be adopted in September. Cowcod is expected to be rebuilt by 2019.

“The Council is a transparent, science-based, inclusive approach to fisheries management,” said Council Executive Director Chuck Tracy. “Our progress in rebuilding overfished stocks shows the effectiveness of this approach. West Coast fisheries are a model of sustainable resource management, and they will continue to provide healthy seafood, jobs, and support for coastal communities, as well as access to this resource for all Americans.”

Process

The bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish assessments were developed by scientists at NOAA Fisheries and were reviewed by the Council’s scientific advisory bodies. NOAA Fisheries confirmed the stocks’ status as rebuilt on June 16.

Council Role

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 for the purpose of managing fisheries 3‐200 nautical miles offshore of the United States of America coastline. The Pacific Council recommends management measures for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

On the Web

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June 2017 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, June 19th, 2017

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met June 9-14, 2017 in Spokane, Washington. The June 2017 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document contains the highlights of significant decisions made at that meeting. Results of agenda items that do not reach a level of highlight significance are typically not described in the Decision Summary Document.

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September 11-18, 2017 Council Meeting

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

The Pacific Fishery Management Council and its advisory bodies will meet September 11-18, 2017 in Boise, Idaho, at the following location:

The Riverside Hotel
2900 Chinden Blvd
Boise, ID 83714
Phone: 208-343-1871

DRAFT Preliminary Quick Reference Agenda

Download the DRAFT September 11-18, 2017 Preliminary Quick Reference.  The detailed agenda will be posted to this webpage when it becomes available.

Briefing Book

  • The September 2017 briefing book link will be available on or around the afternoon of August 25, 2017

September 2017 Advance Briefing Book Public Comment Deadline

Public comment materials received BY 5:00 pm (Pacific Time), Tuesday, August 15, 2017, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the September meeting. This is known as the “Advance Briefing Book Deadline.”

Supplemental Public Comment Deadline

Public comment materials received at the Council office after the August 15, 5:00 pm deadline, but BY 5:00 pm (Pacific Time), Tuesday, September 5, 2017 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the September meeting. This is known as the “Supplemental Public Comment Deadline.”

After the supplemental deadline specified above

  • Written comments received after the supplemental deadline specified above will not be photocopied and distributed by the Council staff. In these instances, individuals are encouraged to attend the Council meeting and present their testimony orally and in writing.  Written comments submitted in person in support of verbal testimony at the meeting will be made part of the Council’s record for that meeting.  For such late comments, individuals should submit their written comments to Council staff no later than 5 p.m. the day before the corresponding agenda item is scheduled on the Council’s agenda.  These written submissions should include the submitter’s name, the Council Agenda Item Number, and the Council meeting date.  Comments will be accepted in electronic form and hard copy.  Hard copy submissions will be converted to electronic form for distribution.  Council staff will distribute the written comments in electronic form only.  The public should be aware that the Council does not have time to thoroughly review extensive written comments submitted at the meeting.  The Council’s advisory entities may not have a chance to review such comment at all.  The Council will not pay for comments transmitted to the meeting hotel.  Comments submitted that are not in support of oral testimony will be included in the briefing materials for the next Council meeting.

 

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PRELIMINARY JUNE 2017 DRAFT MOTIONS IN WRITING

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Cautionary Note — These preliminary motions do not represent the final official administrative record. The motions and amendments contained in this blog are as projected on the screen at the Council meeting at the time of the Council vote and often use expedited language and references without the benefit of any final editing or proofing. They may use short-hand language or abbreviations that may not be clear without the context of verbal comments and clarifications made during their development at the meeting, or may contain inadvertent transposition errors. They have not been approved by the Council to represent the final official record of Council action. The final official record will be posted on the Council website after the Council approves the full meeting record at a future Council meeting.

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Quick Link to the June 2017 Briefing Book

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Use this “Quick Link” to the June 2017 Briefing Book:

June 2017 Briefing Book

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Three Stock Assessment Review Panels Scheduled – Updated With Webinar “Option”

Friday, May 26th, 2017

Three Groundfish Stock Assessment Review (STAR) Panels have been scheduled this year. The first STAR Panel will review new benchmark assessments for lingcod and Pacific ocean perch. The second STAR Panel will review new benchmark assessments for yelloweye rockfish and yellowtail rockfish. The third STAR Panel will review new benchmark assessments for blue/deacon rockfish and California scorpionfish. These STAR Panel meetings are open to the public.

Updated: The STAR panel meetings will also be streamed online for those who want to follow the proceedings remotely.

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Reminder! Groundfish Management Team will be holding a webinar on June 1 (agenda now available)

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

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June 2017 Council Meeting Fast Facts

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

The June 7-14, 2017 Council Meeting “Fast Facts” are available. Fast Facts are answers to FAQs that can help you get oriented for the upcoming meeting (transportation, internet code, hotel map).

 

If you have additional questions regarding the June 7-14, 2017 Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting:

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June 2017 Briefing Book Available Online (with updated agenda)

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Notice of Availability

The Briefing Book for the June 7-14, 2017 Council meeting has been posted to the Council’s website on the “June 2017 Briefing Book” webpage. The Briefing Book contains the meeting agenda, “situation summaries” (brief summaries that provide background for each agenda item), reports and materials for each agenda item, and written public comment. Advisory body and committee agendas and memos are also available.

Please note:  the date of Agenda Item G. Pacific Halibut Management and some agenda items for C. Administrative Matters have changed from previously published June 2017 Council meeting agenda versions.  See Agenda Item A.4, June 2017 Council Meeting Agenda for the  most recent agenda.

For further information:

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