Groundfish blog

Groundfish Tier 1 EIS Ecosystem Workshop

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

The Groundfish Tier 1 EIS Ecosystem Workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, October 30, 2013 starting at 8 am, in conjunction with the Council’s November 2013 meeting.  The SSC Ecosystem Subcommittee will meet with researchers from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center Conservation Biology Division and Southwest Fisheries Science Center Fisheries Ecology Division. The meeting is open to the public and representatives from the Groundfish Advisory Subpanel (GAP) and Groundfish Management Team (GMT) have been invited to attend.

Workshop materials may be found on the November Briefing Book webpage, Agenda Item H.6: Biennial Specifications for 2015-2016 Groundfish Fisheries.

Public Comments Sought on Possible Changes for the Trawl Fixed Gear Permit Stacking Program

Monday, September 30th, 2013

For its upcoming November meeting, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) is asking the public to identify any and all potential changes that may be desirable for the limited entry fixed gear permit stacking program. Please see the public notice, NMFS-SEA-1318, dated September 30, 2013.

The Pacific Council has initiated a review of this program and as part of the review will be reconsidering the means by which control is determined for the purpose of applying the three permit limit on the maximum number of permits controlled.  At its November meeting, the Pacific Council will decide whether to add other potential changes to the review or to consider other changes during a second phase of the process.  If only minor additional changes are identified, they might be wrapped into the actions taken through the review process, and there would be no second phase.  If more significant changes are identified, a second phase may be scheduled.

Comments on potential changes to the fixed gear permit stacking program should be provided by midnight (11:59 p.m.) October 9 to be included in the briefing book materials provided in advance of the November Council meeting and by midnight (11:59 p.m.) October 21 to be included in the supplemental materials provided at the meeting. Comments may be sent via email: pfmc.comments@noaa.gov; or see our contact information for addresses.

Two NMFS-funded opportunities available for west coast longline fishermen to address seabird bycatch in groundfish fisheries

Monday, September 30th, 2013

On September 30, 2013, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) sent out a public notice that describes two NMFS-funded opportunities for west coast longline fishermen to address seabird bycatch in groundfish fisheries. View the Public Notice, NMFS-SEA-13-17.

Groundfish Electronic Monitoring Committees Meeting October 15-16, 2013

Friday, September 20th, 2013

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) will hold a work session for the Groundfish Electronic Monitoring Policy Advisory Committee and Groundfish Electronic Monitoring Technical Advisory Committee (GEM Committees), which is open to the public. The primary purpose of the meeting is to discuss and develop potential alternatives for electronic monitoring (EM) for vessels participating in the West Coast groundfish trawl rationalization program for consideration by the Pacific Council and to develop other recommendations as needed to further the Pacific Council process for considering EM. The meeting will include review of current and developing EM programs for other fisheries, and EM reports to guide discussions and the development of alternatives. A meeting report, including the potential alternatives, will be prepared by Pacific Council staff for consideration by the Pacific Council at its November 2013 meeting in Costa Mesa, California.

The meeting will be held October 15, 2013, from 9 a.m. until the earlier of 5 p.m. or when business for that day has been completed, and on October 16, from 8 a.m. until the earlier of 5 p.m. or when business for that day has been completed.

The meeting will be held at the following location:

Watertown Hotel Seattle
Wallingford and Fremont Rooms
4342 Roosevelt Way NE
Weattle, WA 98105
Telephone: 206-826-4242

Driving Directions

For more information regarding this meeting, please contact Mr. Brett Wiedoff at 503-820-2280, ext. 424 or Mr. Jim Seger at 503-820-2280, ext. 416; toll free 1-866-806-7204.

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 503-820-2280, at least five days prior to the meeting date.

Groundfish Inseason Actions from September 2013 Meeting

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

The Council considered the most recent information on the status of ongoing fisheries and recommended the following trip limit increases:

  1. Limited entry fixed gear fishery north of 36° N. latitude: increase the sablefish trip limits from 1,110 lbs/week, not to exceed 3,300 lbs/2 months to 1,850 lbs/week not to exceed 5,500 lbs/2 months for Period 6.
  2. Open access fixed gear fishery north of 36° N. latitude: increase the sablefish trip limits from 300 lbs/day, or one landing per week up to 800 lbs, not to exceed 1,600 lbs/2 months to 300 lbs/day, or one landing per week up to 1,200 lbs, not to exceed 2,400 lbs/2 months for Period 6.
  3. Open access fixed gear fishery south of 36° N. latitude: increase the sablefish trip limits from 300 lbs/day, or one landing per week up to 1,460 lbs, not to exceed 2,920 lbs/2 months to 380 lbs/day, or one landing per week up to 1,800 lbs, not to exceed 3,800 lbs/2 months for Period 6.
  4. Limited entry fixed gear and open access fishery south of 40°10′ N. latitude: increase the deeper nearshore rockfish trip limits from 900 lb/2 months to 1,000 lb/2 months for Period 6.

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.

Groundfish Management Team to Meet from September 30 to October 4, 2013

Friday, September 6th, 2013

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a work session which is open to the public. The GMT meeting will be held Monday, September 30, 2013 from 1 p.m. until business for the day is completed. The GMT meeting will reconvene Tuesday, October 1 through Friday, October 4 from 8:30 a.m. until business for each day has been completed.

The primary purpose of the GMT working meeting is to develop recommendations for 2015-2016 groundfish harvest specifications and management measures, long-term impact analysis, and Amendment 24. The GMT may also address other assignments relating to groundfish management. No management actions will be decided by the GMT. The GMT’s task will be to develop recommendations for consideration by the Council at its November meeting in Costa Mesa, California.

The GMT work session will be held at the following location:

Pacific Fishery Management Council
Large Conference Room
7700 NE Ambassador Place
Portland, OR 97220-1384
Telephone: 503-820-2280
Driving Directions

For more information regarding this meeting, please contact Mr. John DeVore at 503-820-2280, ext. 413 or Ms. Kelly Ames at 503-820-2280, ext. 426; toll free 1-866-806-7204.

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 503-820-2280, at least five days prior to the meeting date.

Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS, 2015-2016 Groundfish Specifications

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

On August 22, 2013, NMFS and the Pacific Fishery Management Council announced their intent to prepare an EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 to analyze the long-term impacts on the human (biological, physical, social, and economic) environment of setting harvest specifications (including Overfishing Limits (OFLs), Acceptable Biological Catches (ABCs), and Annual Catch Limits (ACLs)) and management measures, and implementing harvest specifications and management measures in Federal regulations for 2015 and 2016, pursuant to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan. See the following Federal Register Notice of Intent: NMFS and the Pacific Council Announce Their Intent to Prepare an EIS for the 2015-2016 Groundfish Specifications (Published August 22, 2013).

NMFS will be accepting written, faxed or emailed comments; and they must be received by 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight time on September 23, 2013. Please see the FR Notice for Specific Instructions on How To Comment.

For further information, please contact: Dr. Kit Dahl, Pacific Fishery Management Council, phone: 503–820–2280, fax: 503–820–2299 and email: Kit.Dahl@noaa.gov; or Ms. Sarah Biegel, NMFS Northwest Region NEPA; email: Sarah.T.Biegel@noaa.gov.

Essential Fish Habitat Review Committee to Hold Meeting

Friday, August 9th, 2013

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting of its Essential Fish Habitat Review Committee (EFHRC) on Wednesday, September 4 and Thursday, September 5, 2013. The meeting will begin each day at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 5:00 p.m. or when business for the day is complete. The primary purpose of the meeting is to initiate plans for completing the periodic review of groundfish EFH. This will include reviewing the proposals to modify EFH, producing an informational report for the September Pacific Council meeting that summarizes the number and content of proposals, and discussing the Phase 2 Report and recommendations that will be delivered to the Council at the November meeting in Costa Mesa, California.

The meeting will be held at the following location:

Pacific Fishery Management Council
Large Conference Room
7700 NE Ambassador Place
Portland, OR 97220-1384
Telephone: 503-820-2280
Driving Directions

For more information regarding this meeting, please contact Mr. Kerry Griffin at 503-820-2280, ext. 409 or toll free 1-866-806-7204.

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 503-820-2280, at least five days prior to the meeting date.

Public Comment Deadlines for the September 2013 Briefing Book

Friday, August 9th, 2013

September 2013 Briefing Book Public Comment Deadlines

Public Comment Deadline – Advance Briefing Book

Public comment materials received BY 11:59 pm, August 21, 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 August 21 but BY 11:59 pm, September 2 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.