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2008 in brief
Salmon: In spring 2008 the Council adopted the most restrictive salmon season ever while the Council considered a Klamath River fall Chinook rebuilding strategy and ODFW studied reintroduction of salmon into the upper Klamath River basin. In November, PacifiCorp, the states, and the Federal government signed an agreement to remove the four lower Klamath dams. Meanwhile, the Secretary of Commerce opened the way for Federal salmon disaster assistance. NMFS scientists studied the cause of the decline, reporting to the Council in 2009.
Highly migratory species: An exempted fishing permit for a single longline vessel was approved in the spring, and the Council adopted and refined alternatives for the high seas shallow-set longline fishery. In June the Council looked at management measures for a recreational thresher shark fishery, and adopted an alternative to reduce thresher shark catches in September.
Groundfish: The Council planned new stock assessments for Bocaccio, widow, yelloweye, petrale, spiny dogfish, cabezon, and bronzespotted and greenspotted rockfish. A decision on intersector allocation was delayed until 2009. In September the Council adopted an alternative that would limit access to the directed open access sector of the groundfish fishery. (See March 2009 for final action).
In spring, the Council focused on tracking and monitoring provisions that would be part of the trawl rationalization program, and in June the Council adopted its preferred alternative for trawl rationalization. Hearings were scheduled in several coastal communities in October, and in November the Council voted to rationalize the groundfish trawl fishery.
Habitat/ecosystem: The Council coordinated with the Monterey Bay and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuaries on their management strategies as Monterey Bay considered additional marine protected areas. The Habitat Committee focused on wave energy proposals and prepared a letter to the Minerals Management Service (now Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) on wave energy impacts. The Council commented on the Central Valley Recovery Plan in California.
Coastal pelagic species: The Council postponed a review of sardine allocation. Other than that, CPS management was routine.
Admin: President Obama was elected in November 2008, signaling a potential new direction for fisheries management. The MSA had been reauthorized in 2006, and the Councils and NMFS worked on implementing the new requirements, including new provisions to end overfishing. The Council reviewed new NMFS guidelines in September. The Council also reviewed its research and data needs document in June and adopted a final version in September.