Highly migratory species blog

NMFS seeks comments on Control Date for Large-Mesh Drift Gillnet Limited Entry Program

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

On October 28, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register: “Control Date for Large-Mesh Drift Gillnet Limited Entry Program”. This advance notice of proposed rulemaking announces a control date of June 23, 2014, that may be used as a reference for allocation decisions when considering potential future management actions to limit the number of participants in the large-mesh drift gillnet fishery that targets swordfish and thresher sharks.

To view the proposed rule and for instructions on how to comment, please see the October 28, 2014 Federal Register notice. Comments must be submitted in writing by November 28, 2014. If you have further questions, please contact: Mr. Mark Helvey, NMFS: (562) 980-4040, or mark.helvey@noaa.gov.

November 2014 Briefing Book Available Online

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

The Briefing Book for the November 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.

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.

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.

Solicitation Notice for EFPs for swordfish and other highly migratory species

Monday, September 29th, 2014

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. Download the full solicitation letter that describes the purpose, process, and evaluation critieria.

The Council announces a deadline of 11:59 p.m., Pacific Time, February 9, 2015, to submit EFP proposals to the Council office, addressed as follows:

By mail:
Dr. Donald O. McIsaac, Executive Director
Attn: HMS EFP Proposal
Pacific Fishery Management Council
7700 NE Ambassador Pl. Suite, 101
Portland, OR 97220

By fax: 503-820-2299

By email: pfmc.comments@noaa.gov or Kit.Dahl@noaa.gov

On envelope, fax cover sheet, or email subject line, please enter “Attn: HMS EFP Proposal.” In the event an EFP proposal does not meet the above deadline, it does not necessarily mean the Council will not consider the proposal; however, lack of inclusion in the advance Briefing Book for the March 2015 Council meeting may mean no advisory review and dramatically reduced chance of the Council advancing the proposal to the next step.

Should you have any questions on this matter, please contact Dr. Kit Dahl at Kit.Dahl@noaa.gov or telephone: 503-820-2422.

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.

NOAA requests comments on a proposal to update the Federal list of fisheries for West Coast states

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

NOAA Fisheries proposes to update the Federal list of authorized fisheries and gear issued under section 305(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (“List of Fisheries”). The List of Fisheries includes a description of fisheries that operate in the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone, the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s geographic area of authority. This action is necessary because the current list is outdated and either includes several fisheries that no longer occur, or does not include fisheries that do occur, within the U.S. West Coast EEZ. The intended effect of this rule is to bring the list up to date with current West Coast fisheries and fishery management plans.

Please see the Federal Register notice dated August 7, 2014 to read the proposed rule and instructions on how to comment. Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before September 8, 2014.

For further information, please contact:
Ms. Yvonne deReynier, 206-526-6129; (fax) 206-526-6736;
Mr. Joshua Lindsay, 562-980-4034; 562-980-4047

Reminder notice and agenda available for the HMSMT August 12-14, 2014 meeting

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

This is a reminder notice that the Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) will be meeting August 12-14, 2014 in the La Jolla, California area. An agenda is now available for that three-day meeting. (more…)