Habitat and communities blog

November 2013 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Friday, November 8th, 2013

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met November 1-6, 2013 in Costa Mesa, California. The November 2013 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.

November 2013 Briefing Book Available Online

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

The Briefing Book for the November 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.

October 30‐November 6, 2013 Council Meeting

Thursday, October 3rd, 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 October 30‐November 6, 2013 in Costa Mesa, California to address issues related to groundfish, Pacific halibut, salmon, coastal pelagic species management, and habitat matters.

Please visit the “Current Council Meeting” webpage for the meeting notice and agenda details.

Pacific Council Office Remains Open; Scheduled Meetings Will Take Place

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.

NOAA Fisheries NWR and SWR formally merged

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:

Latest Version of The Line, Summary of West Coast Fisheries News

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.

September 2013 Council Decision Summary Document Online

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.

Council discusses priorities for MSA Reauthorization

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.

Public Comment Deadlines for the November 2013 Briefing Book

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

November 2013 Briefing Book Public Comment Deadlines

Public Comment Deadline – Advance Briefing Book

Public comment materials received BY 11:59 pm, October 9, 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 October 9 but BY 11:59 pm, October 21 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.

September 2013 Briefing Book Available Online

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.