Highly migratory species blog

March 2015 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, March 16th, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met March 8-12, 2015 in Vancouver, Washington, USA. The March 2015 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.

March 2015 Briefing Book Available Online

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The Briefing Book for the March 2015 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 Releases Regional Electronic Technology Implementation Plans

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

NOAA Fisheries (NMFS) has released its regional electronic technology implementation plans. The West Coast plan is available here.

NOAA Fisheries is figuring out how technology such as on-board cameras, tablets, and electronic logbooks can be used to monitor fishing activity and report catch. One idea is to supplement human observers with digital video cameras and software capable of measuring and identifying different species of fish.

NOAA Fisheries has supported over 30 pilot projects that experiment with new technologies. They have created regional plans to identify, evaluate, and prioritize implementation of promising electronic technologies that improve our knowledge of the fisheries and empower fishermen and other citizens to become more actively involved in the data collection process. Click below to read plans for other regions:

These plans are works-in-progress and part of an ongoing process to improve the timeliness and quality of our fisheries information. Aiding this process are a series of white papers, an internal policy directive, and a draft discussion paper of advice and best practices to inform the public conversation about emerging technologies in fisheries reporting and monitoring.

Public Comment Deadline for the March 2015 Briefing Book

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Public Comment Deadline – March 2015 Advance Briefing Book

Public comment materials received BY 11:59 pm, Thursday, February 12, 2015, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the March meeting. This is known as the “Advance Briefing Book Deadline.”

Supplemental Public Comment Deadline

Public comments or materials received at the Council office after February 12, 2015, but BY 11:59 pm, March 2 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the March 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.

UPDATED! Location Change for First Day of the Meeting; agenda available for the February 4-6, 2015 HMSMT meeting

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) will hold a meeting from Wednesday, February 4 to Friday, February 6, 2015, which is open to the public. An agenda is now available for that meeting, as well as new information regarding the location of the first day of the meeting. (more…)

NOAA Fisheries seeking nominations for members of the 2015-2016 Permanent Advisory Committee (WCPFC)

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

NOAA Fisheries has published a notice seeking nominations for members of the 2015-2016 Permanent Advisory Committee to advise the US Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. The request for nominations is attached here for your reference. Nominations for membership must be received no later than March 2, 2015.

For more information please view the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/01/14/2015-00412/nominations-for-the-western-and-central-pacific-fisheries-commission-permanent-advisory-committee.

For further information, please contact:  Emily Crigler, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office; telephone: 808-725-5036; facsimile: 808-725-5215; email: emily.crigler@noaa.gov.

This notice posted as a courtesy to NOAA Fisheries PIRO.

NOAA Fisheries seeks comments on proposed revisions to the National Standard guidelines for federal fisheries management

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on a proposal to revise the guidelines for National Standard 1, 3, and 7 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The National Standard guidelines assist the eight regional fishery management councils and NOAA Fisheries in developing effective fishery management plans.

For further information, please contact Wesley Patrick, NOAA Office of Sustainable Fisheries, 301-427-8563.

Reminder: Deadline for EFPs for swordfish and other highly migratory species is February 9, 2015

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

The Council is soliciting applications for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) to test alternative gear as a substitute to the large mesh gillnet gear currently used to target healthy highly migratory species (HMS), or to test new approaches or methods for using large mesh gillnets to fish with a significant reduction in bycatch. (more…)

Highly Migratory Species Management Team to Meet

Monday, January 12th, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) will hold a meeting from Wednesday, February 4 to Friday, February 6, 2015, which is open to the public.  This meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. and continue until business is concluded on each day.

UPDATED: Meeting Locations

The meeting will be held at two locations as follows:

Wednesday, February 4

Pacific Room
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
8901 La Jolla Shores Dr.
La Jolla, California 92037-1509
Driving Directions

Thursday, February 5 and Friday, February 6

Best Western Plus Inn by the Sea
Wind and Sea Room
7830 Fay Avenue
La Jolla, California 92037
Phone: 858-459-4461
Driving Directions

Meeting topics and agenda

The HMSMT will discuss assignments and develop reports for HMS topics to be taken up at Council meetings in 2015.  Topics on the March 2015 Council agenda that the HMSMT will focus on include 1) developing a Drift Gillnet Management and Monitoring Plan purpose and need statement and contents; 2) analyzing the range of alternatives adopted by the Council in November 2014 for bycatch reduction and monitoring for the California drift gillnet fishery; and 3) reviewing and making recommendations on exempted fishing permit proposals.  The HMSMT will also discuss the planned management strategy evaluation for North Pacific albacore tuna to be conducted by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-Like Species in the North Pacific Ocean and potential Council advice to the U.S. delegation.  Time permitting, the HMSMT may discuss initial planning for topics on future Council meetings including the authorization of a shallow-set longline fishery outside the west coast Exclusive Economic Zone and creating a Federal limited entry permit for the California drift gillnet fishery.

Additional information

The 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 503-820-2425, at least five days prior to the meeting date.

For further information about the work session, please contact Dr. Kit Dahl at 503-820-2280, ext. 422; toll-free 1-866-806-7204.

NMFS Publishes Final Rule: “List of Fisheries for 2015″

Monday, December 29th, 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its final List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2015, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The final LOF for 2015 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals.

This final rule is effective January 28, 2015. Information regarding the LOF may be obtained from the NMFS LOF website. You may also download the Final Rule published December 29, 2014.

For further information, please contact: Lisa White, Office of Protected Resources, 301–427–8494; Allison Rosner, Greater Atlantic Region, 978–281–9328; Jessica Powell, Southeast Region, 727–824–5312; Elizabeth Petras, West Coast Region (CA), 562–980–3238; Brent Norberg, West Coast Region (WA/OR), 206–526–6550; Kim Rivera, Alaska Region, 907–586–7424; Nancy Young, Pacific Islands Region, 808–725–5156.