Pacific halibut blog

New! Spring 2015 Newsletter Available Online

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The Spring 2015 issue of Pacific Council News is now available on the Council’s website. You may view past issues of the Council’s newsletter by visiting the Council’s Newsletter Archives webpage.

If you have comments, questions, or suggestions regarding Pacific Council News, Spring 2015, please direct them to: Ms. Jennifer Gilden, Information and Communications Specialist at (503) 820-2280 ext. 418 or toll free: 1-866-806-7204.

April 2015 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, April 20th, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met April 11-16, 2015 in Rohnert Park, California. The April 2015 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.

April 2015 Council Meeting Internet Live Audio Stream

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

This listen-only mode webinar is held daily, from April 11-16, 2015, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Pacific Time, or when business for the day is complete. (The only exception is a CLOSED SESSION that will be held on Saturday, April 11 from 8 am to approximately 9 am; noting the Council meeting starts at approximately 9 am that day). Please see the April 2015 agenda.

Join the meeting in “listen-only” mode

Join the meeting in “listen-only” mode by visiting this link:

  1. http://www.gotomeeting.com/online/webinar/join-webinar
  2. Enter the Webinar ID – The April 11-16, 2015 Webinar ID is: 109-418-027
  3. Please enter your email address (required)

Participants can use their computer’s microphone and speakers (VoIP) or telephone.  (See the PFMC GoToMeeting Audio Diagram for best practices).

If you do not have a headset or computer speakers, you may use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number 1-646-307-1721; phone audio access code 965-893-632 (not a toll-free number); then enter the audio pin shown after joining the webinar. The webinar is broadcast in “listen only” mode.

Technical Information

System Requirements

  • PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 7, Vista, or XP
  • Mac®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
  • Mobile attendees: Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet (See the GoToMeeting Webinar Apps)

You may send an email to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt for technical assistance.

MP3 Audio Files

Approximately three business days after the meeting has ended, you may visit the “Past Meetings” webpage where you will find links to the MP3 and WAV files.

April 2015 Briefing Book Available Online

Monday, March 30th, 2015

The Briefing Book for the April 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.

April 10-16, 2015 Council Meeting

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

The Council and its advisory bodies will meet April 10-16, 2015 in Rohnert Park, California to address issues related to salmon, Pacific halibut, groundfish, coastal pelagic species, and essential fish habitat matters.

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

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 Halibut Decisions

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Salmon Troll

At their March 2015 meeting, the Council confirmed the existing halibut landing ratios for the commercial salmon troll fisheries from April 1-30, 2015 of no more than one halibut per each four Chinook, except one halibut may be possessed or landed without meeting the ratio requirement and no more than 12 halibut may be landed per trip.   The Council also adopted three options for public review for halibut landing ratios in the salmon troll fisheries from May 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 and April 1-30, 2016. Final action is scheduled at the April Council meeting in Rohnert Park, California.

Status Quo (Pre-May 1 limit): May 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 and April 1-30, 2016, license holders may land or possess no more than one Pacific halibut per each four Chinook, except one Pacific halibut may be landed without meeting the ratio requirement, and no more than 12 halibut landed per trip.

Option 2: May 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 and April 1-30, 2016, license holders may land or possess no more than one Pacific halibut per each five Chinook, except one Pacific halibut may be landed without meeting the ratio requirement, and no more than 10 halibut landed per trip.

Option 3: May 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 and April 1-30, 2016, license holders may land or possess no more than one Pacific halibut per each five Chinook, except one Pacific halibut may be landed without meeting the ratio requirement, and no more than 8 halibut landed per trip.

Primary Fixed Gear Sablefish Fishery North of Point Chehalis, Washington

The Council confirmed the existing halibut landing restrictions for the primary fixed gear sablefish fishery north of Pt. Chehalis, Washington from April 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015.  The limits are 75 pounds dressed weight of halibut for every 1,000 pounds dressed weight of sablefish landed and up to two additional halibut in excess of ratio per landing.

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.

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.