Archive for February, 2010

Public Hearing on Salmon Management Options (Westport & Coos Bay)

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Public hearings sponsored by the Pacific Fishery Management Council will be held to receive comments on the proposed ocean salmon fishery management options adopted by the Council at their March 2010 meeting.

Locations:

Chateau Westport
Beach Room
710 W Hancock
Westport, WA 98595
(360) 268-9101

Red Lion Hotel
Umpqua Room
1313 N Bayshore Drive
Coos Bay, OR 97420
(541) 267-4141

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Public Hearing on Salmon Management Options (Westport & Coos Bay)

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Public hearings sponsored by the Pacific Fishery Management Council will be held to receive comments on the proposed ocean salmon fishery management options adopted by the Council at their March 2010 meeting.

Locations:

Chateau Westport
Beach Room
710 W Hancock
Westport, WA 98595
(360) 268-9101

Red Lion Hotel
Umpqua Room
1313 N Bayshore Drive
Coos Bay, OR 97420
(541) 267-4141

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Historical Data Document for Salmon Fisheries Updated

Friday, February 26th, 2010

The Historical Data Document for salmon fisheries and runs was just updated with preliminary 2009 information, and most 2008 data was finalized. This document has four parts: (1) ocean effort and landings, (2) freshwater spawning escapement and catch, (3) ocean fishing regulations, and (4) economic information on salmon fisheries. The document provides the same information as Appendices A-D in the review of 2009 ocean salmon fisheries, but includes individual years as well as five-year averages for earlier years, and provides the data in excel spreadsheets so folks can more easily download and manipulate data for their own purposes. Visit the Salmon Historical Document webpage.

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Public Hearing on Salmon Management Options (Eureka)

Friday, February 26th, 2010

A public hearing sponsored by the Pacific Fishery Management Council will be held to receive comments on the proposed ocean salmon fishery management options adopted by the Council at their March 2010 meeting.

Location:

Red Lion Eureka
Evergreen Room
1929 Fourth Street
Eureka, CA 95521
(707) 445-0844

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HMSMT holds 3-day meeting, discusses National Standard 1 guidelines, albacore fishery, among other topics

Friday, February 26th, 2010

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HMSMT meeting in the “Green Room” at the SWFSC lab
The Council’s Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) met at the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, February 23-25.

The HMSMT spent most of Tuesday talking about Amendment 2 to the HMS FMP, which would make changes to be consistent with the revised National Standard 1 Guidelines finalized by NMFS in 2009.  The Council is scheduled to adopt a range of alternatives for public review at their April meeting in Sacramento.  The HMSMT based their discussion on their report from November 2009.

First, they talked about possible reclassification of managed and monitored species in the FMP as ecosystem component (EC) species, a new category in the Guidelines.  The HMSMT decided that bigeye and pelagic thresher sharks, and possibly blue shark, may be considered for reclassification in the EC category, because they tend to be less frequently landed in west coast fisheries.  Currently, the HMS FMP has a list of monitored species, which would go into the EC category.  The Team identified three species on the monitored list, opah, louvar, and escolar, that have documented commercial landings of some magnitude and therefore one or more of these species may be considered for reclassification as a managed species.

Second, the HMSMT talked about which species should be considered for the “international exception.” (This provision in the  Guidelines stats that ACLs don’t need to be set for species managed under an international agreement such as U.S. participation in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.)  In November 2009 the Council told the HMSMT to develop two alternatives for this issue, one where all the HMS are subject to the exception and another where all species except for common thresher and shortfin mako shark would be excepted.  Suzy Kohin, from the SWFSC, presented tag data on these two species, showing their movements.  This information suggests that common thresher shark found off the west coast tend to have a more coastal distribution compared to shortfin mako, which according to the tag returns, ranges widely from the west coast.  This could have implications on whether or not to apply the international exemption to these species.

Third, the group had a conference call with Paul Dalzell, WPFMC staff, and Keith Bigelow, Chair of the Pelagics Plan Team, about designating the “primary FMP” for the purpose of identifying reference points (e.g., MSY).  Since the species in the HMS FMP are also in the WPFMC’s Pelagics FMP, this provision of the Guidelines is relevant.  The HMSMT learned that the WPFMC may reclassify the pelagic sharks in their FMP as EC species.  This may need to be taken into account when the Pacific Council decides what to do with the HMS FMP species.

Finally, the HMSMT talked about how reference points and ACLs might be determined for the managed species in the HMS FMP.  Although MSYs and OYs, or proxies for these values,  are included the FMP, the Team talked about whether these estimates need to be updated or calculated in another way.


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Oysters on the grill at the HMSMT barbecue


On Tuesday evening the HMSMT, members of the public sitting in on the meeting, and some folks from the SWFSC enjoyed a barbecue on the Scripps campus, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  The menu featured grilled oysters, white seabass, pasta salad prepared by Suzy Kohin, and delicious desserts from Steve Stohs and Leeanne Laughlin.  Thanks go to all the HMSMT members and SWFSC staff that helped organize the event and prepare the food!

On Wednesday the HMSMT grappled with an assignment from the Council to review a finalized version of the albacore white paper presented to the Council in November 2009, present information to inform a decision about changing the current March 9, 2000, control date, and, related to that, whether the Council should begin considering fishing effort limitation measures for the west coast albacore troll/baitboat fishery.  The Team examined data that had been prepared by Kit Dahl in an effort to depict participation in the fishery since 1996.  Team members made various recommendations for how this information could be incorporated into a Team Report for the April Council meeting, when this issue is on the agenda.  At the end of the day the Team had outlined the contents of their report.

On Thursday the HMSMT heard several very useful informational briefings.  First, Joe Terry, currently working at the SWFSC, talked about a feasibility study for using electronic logbooks to collect biological and economic data in west coast HMS and CPS fisheries.  Joe is interested in Council input on development of such a program so expect to hear more about this in the future.  Craig Heberer gave a brief overview of the proposed critical habitat designation for leatherback sea turtles.  He attended a public meeting in Carlsbad, CA where NMFS solicited comments.  The Council will have an opportunity to comment on this issue at their upcoming April meeting in Sacramento.  Finally, Daniel  Cartamil from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography presented research results on the distribution of the common thresher shark in the California Bight, including Mexican waters.  With his colleagues–CICISE student Miguel Olivares, Professor Jeff Graham of Scripps Institute of Oceanography,  and Dr. Oscar Sosa, Head of Fisheries Research, CICESE Ensenada, Mexico– he presented some fascinating information on artisanal fisheries catching sharks on the Pacific coast of the Baja Peninsula.  This information could help in the HMSMT’s deliberations on establishing an annual catch limit for this species per the National Standard 1 Guidelines.

Overall, the two-and-a-half day meeting gave the HMSMT a great jump start on developing their reports for the April Council meeting.


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Sunset over the Pacific Ocean with Scripps Pier in the foreground.








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California Delta Science Program Brown Bag Series: Freshwater Mussels

Friday, February 26th, 2010

The Delta Science Program (formerly CALFED Science Program) Brown Bag Series will present seminar March 10 on the current status of freshwater mussels in California. Over the past two decades, freshwater mussels have been the subject of numerous conservation efforts both in the U.S. and worldwide, yet few have focused on native mussels in the western United States.

The brown bag seminar will be held at the following location:

Delta Room, 5th Floor
650 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, CA 95814

Click here for further information.

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Press release on 2010 salmon seasons now online

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Our press release, Pacific Fishery Management Council Releases Forecasts for 2010 Salmon Abundance, is now available by clicking the link or going to the “Educational and Media Resources” section under “Currents.”

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ODFW Marine Reserve Science & Monitoring Meeting

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

ODFW staff and invited marine scientists will be gathering on March 2 at Oregon State University to have a work session about the science of marine reserve monitoring. Visit http://tinyurl.com/ygs666e for more information.

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ODFW Marine Reserve Science & Monitoring Meeting

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

ODFW staff and invited marine scientists will be gathering on March 2 at Oregon State University to have a work session about the science of marine reserve monitoring. Visit http://tinyurl.com/ygs666e for more information.

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March 2010 Briefing Book Available on Council Website

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The Briefing Book for the March 2010 Council meeting has been posted to the Council’s website on the “Current 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.

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