Groundfish blog

November 12-19, 2014 Council Meeting

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Council to Consider a Variety of Issues Affecting Management of Future Coastal Pelagic Species, Groundfish, Highly Migratory Species, Pacific Halibut, and Salmon Fisheries

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory bodies will meet November 12-19, 2014 in Costa Mesa, California to address issues related to coastal pelagic species, groundfish, Pacific halibut, salmon, highly migratory species management, and habitat matters.

Listen to the Meeting

Agenda and Meeting Notice

Listed below are some key agenda items, which include Council considerations to:

  • Adopt final preferred alternatives for bluefin tuna management measures for 2015-2016 fisheries;
  • Adopt a final preferred alternative for the Pacific sardine harvest fraction parameter;
  • Adopt final changes to the 2015 Pacific halibut catch sharing plan and annual fishery regulations;
  • Adopt final recommendations for any changes to the lower Columbia River natural coho harvest matrix;
  • Take final action to rescind or revise previous Council action of open access registration under groundfish plan Amendment 22;
  • Adopt recommendations for adjustments to 2014 and 2015 groundfish fisheries.
  • Adopt final changes to salmon methodologies or conservation objectives, and the 2015 preseason management schedule;
  • Download a PDF copy of the November 2014 Meeting Notice and Agenda

Please refer to the detailed proposed agenda for a complete list of issues to be addressed. A schedule of advisory group meetings is provided on the last pages of the detailed proposed agenda. Copies of briefing materials prepared for the meeting can be found on our website www.pcouncil.org the week of October 29.

Meeting Locations and Arrangements

The Pacific Fishery Management Council and its advisory bodies will meet November 12-19, 2014 at the following location:

Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa
3050 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: 714-540-7000

All meetings are open to the public, except a closed executive session scheduled for 1:00 pm on Friday, November 14, 2014, to discuss litigation and administrative appointments. For more information on the meetings, refer to the detailed proposed agenda or call the Council office at 503-820-2280 or 866-806-7204 toll free.

Public Comment Guidelines

The public is encouraged to comment, either verbally at the meeting or in writing. Timing of agenda items may change as the meeting progresses, and items not completed on the scheduled day will be carried over to later in the meeting, usually the next day.

Oral Public Comments

Oral public comments will be accepted during the meeting prior to action on each agenda item.

Written Public Comments

Written public comments are accepted by the Council via one of the methods described below. The public is encouraged to submit written comments as far in advance of the meeting as possible, either by mail, fax, of email addressed to pfmc.comments@noaa.gov. Electronic copies of written testimony is encouraged.

  • Comments received by 11:59 p.m. October 20, 2014 will be included in the briefing books mailed to Council members prior to the meeting.
  • Comments received after October 20 but by 11:59 p.m. November 5, 2014 will be distributed to Council members at the onset of the meeting.
  • If you cannot meet this latter deadline and are going to testify at the meeting, you can provide written testimony for distribution by one of the following methods at the meeting. However, please note these need to be provided to Council staff at the meeting well in advance of your testimony.
    • Provide an electronic copy to be posted with other briefing materials, or
    • Provide 40 photocopies with the Agenda Item Topic Number in the upper right corner of the front page of each copy. Refer to the attached agenda for the topic numbers; i.e., Agenda Item B.1 refers to public comment under Open Comment Period.

This meeting is open to the public and is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Carolyn Porter at 503-820-2280 or 866-806-7204 at least five days prior to the meeting date.

One-Way Live Stream Available

The November 14-19, 2014 meeting of the Pacific Fishery Management Council will also be streamed live on the internet. The broadcasts begin at 2 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) Friday, November 14, 2014-Wednesday, November 19, 2014. Broadcasts end daily at 6:00 p.m. PT or when business for the day is complete. Only the audio portion and presentations displayed on the screen at the Council meeting will be broadcast. The audio portion is listen-only; you will be unable to speak to the Council via the broadcast. To access the meeting online go to http://www.joinwebinar.com and enter the November Webinar ID, 430-417-591 and your email address. The online attendance can be done using a computer, tablet, or smart phone, using the GoToMeeting application. It is recommended that you use a computer headset to listen to the meeting, but you may use your telephone for the audio portion only of the meeting. The audio portion may be attended using a telephone by dialing the toll number 1-646-307-1719; phone audio access code 536-452-326 (not a toll-free number).

Updated! Public Comment Deadlines for the November 2014 Briefing Book

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Public Comment Deadline – November 2014 Advance Briefing Book

Public comment materials received BY October 20, 2014, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the November meeting. This is known as the “Advance Briefing Book Deadline.”

Supplemental Public Comment Deadline

Public comments or materials received at the Council office after October 20, but BY November 5 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the November meeting. This is known as the “Supplemental Public Comment Deadline.”

See the Council’s Briefing Book Public Comment Deadlines webpage for complete details on how to submit comments.

Proposed rule to revise regulations for the Pacific Coast Groundfish fishery (regulatory amendment to the Trawl Rationalization Program for the start of 2015)

Friday, October 10th, 2014

On October 10, 2014, NMFS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to revise regulations for the Pacific Coast Groundfish fishery with a target implementation date of January 1, 2015. Final implementation of the 2015-2016 biennial harvest specifications and management measures will likely be delayed beyond January 1, 2015.

Comments on the proposed rule are due to NMFS on or before November 10, 2014. For further information, please contact: Miako Ushio, NMFS at phone: 206-526-4644; or email: Miako.Ushio@noaa.gov.

The Line, summary of West Coast fisheries news, September 2014 version available online

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Download The Line, Volume 3, No. 3, September 2014, 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 highlights the decisions made at the September 2014 Pacific Fishery Management Council meetings.

You may view past issues of the Council’s newsletter and The Line by visiting the Council’s Newsletter Archives webpage.

Please direct your comments and thoughts regarding The Line or other public relations matters to Jennifer.Gilden@noaa.gov, Information and Communications Specialist at 503-820-2418, or toll free 1-866-806-7204, ext. 418.

Request for nominations for an at-large position on the Scientific and Statistical Committee

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) is seeking qualified candidates to consider for an at-large position on its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The successful candidate will serve out the remainder of the 2013-2015 Council advisory body term. At this time the Council is particularly interested in candidates experienced in groundfish stock assessments, ecosystem analyses, or economic/social analyses. To ensure consideration, nominations should be received at the Council office no later than Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

Please visit the Council’s “Current Advisory Body Vacancies” webpage to get the full vacancy announcement and instructions on how to submit nominations.

September 2014 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met September 12-17, 2014 in Spokane, Washington. The September 2014 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.

Final Preferred Alternatives for an Electronic Monitoring Program for the Pacific Coast Limited Entry Trawl Groundfish Fishery Catch Shares Program

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

At the September 2014 Council meeting in Spokane, WA, the Council selected their final preferred alternatives for an electronic monitoring program for the Pacific coast limited entry trawl groundfish fishery catch shares program. See the “Fishery specific tables that show the Council’s final preferred alternatives” (PDF format). More detail regarding the Council’s decision will be provided in the near future on the Council’s website.

The Council also provided guidance to NMFS regarding preservation of the IFQ Program goals and the development performance standards when developing regulations to implement an EM Program. In order to preserve the conservation and accountability aspects of the IFQ Program, the EM Program must accurately capture discard events (i.e., whether discard has occurred), amount of discard (i.e., volume in weight and size of individual fish), disposition of discard (i.e., if we are to consider providing survivability credit for released fish, such as halibut), and do so even for rare events (e.g., catch and discard of rebuilding rockfish, by species).

In developing performance standards and accountability measures, the Council recommends NMFS consider the economic incentives to misreport or underreport catches and mortalities of overfished rockfish and Pacific halibut.

Individual accountability in the fisheries will hold only so far as monitoring programs are able to counteract these incentives. As such, having adequate enforcement to ensure compliance with the EM Program with strong consequences in place for violations are keys to success.

Performance standards examples are listed below:

  1. Require recording of discards in logbooks with estimated weights given for each species for each haul or set;
  2. Require a minimum of 30% video review during times of gear retrieval and 30% of video review of the remainder of the trip; compare to logbook entries for logbook certification;
  3. Logbook certification is achieved if video review determines that logbook amounts are within 20% accuracy of video review, by species;
  4. If logbook amounts do not meet 20% accuracy standard, then a 100% video review is triggered at vessel account holder expense and vessel cannot commence another fishing trip until video has been reviewed and vessel account has been debited;
  5. If the 100% video review is triggered more than twice within a six-month time period, then 100% video review is in effect for all fishing trips for the six months following the commencement of fishing activity, again at the vessel account holder’s expense.

Groundfish Stock Assessment and Fishery Evalution (SAFE) document available

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The Status of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE), dated August 2014 is now available on the Council’s website. Please visit the Groundfish SAFE document webpage to download the document.

September 2014 Briefing Book Available Online

Monday, August 25th, 2014

The Briefing Book for the September 2014 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. Advisory body and committee agendas and memos are also available.

NMFS Publishes Proposed “List of Fisheries for 2015″

Monday, August 25th, 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its proposed List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2015, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The proposed LOF for 2015 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 mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The classification of a fishery on 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 requirements.

Please see the Federal Register dated August 25, 2014 to view the proposed rule, and for instructions on how to comment. Comments on the proposed rule must be received by September 24, 2014.