Pacific halibut blog

November 12-19, 2014 Council Meeting

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

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.

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

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.

The Line, summary of West Coast fisheries news, September 2014 version available online

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Download The Line, Volume 3, No. 3, September 2014, 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 highlights the decisions made at the September 2014 Pacific Fishery Management Council meetings.

You may view past issues of the Council’s newsletter and The Line by visiting the Council’s Newsletter Archives webpage.

Please direct your comments and thoughts regarding The Line or other public relations matters to Jennifer.Gilden@noaa.gov, Information and Communications Specialist at 503-820-2418, or toll free 1-866-806-7204, ext. 418.

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.

September 2014 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met September 12-17, 2014 in Spokane, Washington. The September 2014 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.

Halibut Decisions from the September 2014 Meeting

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

At the September meeting, the Council considered proposed changes to the 2015 Pacific halibut regulations and the Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) for Area 2A. The Council adopted for public review a range of seven non-treaty commercial and recreational fishery allocation options intended to provide for a greater recreational allocation for the California subarea, in response to new information indicating a higher abundance of Pacific halibut and greater fishery interest in this area than when the CSP was originally adopted. Recreational fishery options for Washington, Oregon, and California were also adopted for public review. Details of the options are described below.

The Council is scheduled to take final action on proposed changes for the 2015 Area 2A halibut fisheries at the November 14-19, 2014 Council meeting in Costa Mesa, California. Public comment on the options can be submitted to pfmc.comments@noaa.gov. Those comments received by Friday, October 17 will be included in the advanced briefing materials, which are mailed to Council members and advisory bodies. Comments received after October 17 but before November 4 will be handed out on the first day of the meeting.

Changes to the Non-Treaty CSP Allocations

Description of the Allocation Alternatives

The Council adopted the following range of non-treaty commercial and recreational allocations (See the Council-adopted allocation table). Allocations under Alternatives 2-5 are related to the level of the Area 2A Total Allowable Catch (TAC).

Status Quo: The non-treaty allocation is apportioned according to the 2014 CSP: Washington sport (36.60%), Oregon sport (30.70%), California sport (1.00%), and commercial (31.70%).

Alternative 1: Maintain allocations as described in the CSP (Status Quo), except increase the California sport allocation by two percent, for a total California sport allocation of three percent, by reducing the non-treaty commercial fishery share.

Alternative 2, Option A: Same allocations as described in Alternative 1 when the 2A TAC is one million pounds or less. When the 2A TAC is above one million pounds, the California sport allocation would increase by an additional one percent, for a total California sport allocation of four percent, by reducing the non-treaty commercial fishery share.

Alternative 2, Option B: Same allocations as described in Alternative 1 when the 2A TAC is one million pounds or less. When the 2A TAC is greater than one million pounds, the first one million pounds of the 2A TAC shall be distributed according to the Alternative 1 allocations. For the portion of the 2A TAC that exceeds one million pounds, the California sport allocation would increase to 30-50 percent of the non-treaty share, and allocation percentages for the non-treaty commercial and recreational (Washington and Oregon) would be reduced to remain proportional to the status quo non-treaty shares.

Alternative 3: Increase the California sport allocation by two percent, for a total California sport allocation of three percent, when the 2A TAC is less than one million pounds by reducing the three major non-treaty group allocations (i.e., Washington sport, Oregon sport, and commercial). When the 2A TAC is greater than one million pounds, the first one million pounds of the 2A TAC shall be distributed according to the Alternative 3 allocations. For the portion of the 2A TAC that exceeds one million pounds, the California sport allocation would increase to four percent of the non-treaty share by reducing the three major non-treaty group allocations.

Alternative 4: Increase the California sport share by three percent, for a total allocation of four percent, when the 2A TAC is less than one million pounds by reducing the three major non-treaty group allocations. When the 2A TAC is greater than one million pounds, the first one million pounds of the 2A TAC shall be distributed according to the Alternative 4 allocations. For the portion of the 2A TAC that exceeds one million pounds, the California sport allocation would increase to five percent of the non-treaty share by reducing the three major non-treaty group allocations.

Alternative 5: Increase the California sport share by four percent, for a total allocation of five percent, when the 2A TAC is less than one million pounds by reducing the three major non-treaty group allocations. When the 2A TAC is greater than one million pounds, the first one million pounds of the 2A TAC shall be distributed according to the Alternative 5 allocations. For the portion of the 2A TAC that exceeds one million pounds, the California sport allocation would increase to six percent of the non-treaty share by reducing the three major non-treaty group allocations.

Maximum Limits to the California Sport Allocation

After adopting the CSP allocations from the range described above, the Council will then decide whether to instate a maximum limit on the California sport allocation.

Status Quo: No maximum limit on the California sport allocation.

Maximum Limit A: Include a maximum limit on the California sport allocation of 75,000 pounds in an effort to not strand pounds. This limit may be combined with Alternatives 1, 2A, or 2B described in the table above. Any amount above 75,000 pounds would remain in the non-treaty commercial fishery share.

Maximum Limit B: Include a maximum limit on the California sport allocation of 50,000 pounds in an effort to not strand pounds. This limit may be combined with Alternatives 3 – 5 described in the table above. Any amount above 50,000 pounds would remain in the Washington sport, Oregon sport, and commercial fisheries in proportion to their respective shares under the Alternative.

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Agency Proposals from the September 2014 Meeting

Additional information

Download a PDF Version of this blog which contains all changes and proposals

If you have further questions on the proposed changes, you can submit comments by mail, fax, or email, marked to the attention of Kelly Ames, Pacific halibut staff officer; phone 503-820-2426; toll free 1-866-806-7204 ext. 426.

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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

Public Comment Deadlines for the September 2014 Briefing Book

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Public Comment Deadline – September 2014 Advance Briefing Book

Public comment materials received BY 11:59 pm, August 15, 2014, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the September 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 15, but BY 11:59 pm, September 3 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the September 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.