Archive for December, 2012

Groundfish Commercial and Recreational Fishery Management Measures Effective January 1, 2013

Monday, December 31st, 2012

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published the final rule implementing the 2013-2014 harvest specifications and commercial and recreational fishery management measures, effective on January 1, 2013 (http://tinyurl.com/bjjrwep). A Public Notice describing the changes is available at http://tinyurl.com/bbjxknf.

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Google Earth® Files showing Groundfish Conservation Areas Updated

Friday, December 21st, 2012

The Google Earth® page on the Council’s website has been updated with new files displaying Groundfish Conservation Areas.  The webpage directs you to an ftp folder from where the files can be downloaded. (You must install Google Earth on your computer to view them.)  The updated files are:

  • Nontrawl RCA (all year 2013-14).kmz displays the nontrawl RCA, which has the same configuration year round.
  • RCA waypoints 2013-14.kmz displays boundary lines used to construct RCAs in use in 2013-14, based on coordinates published in Federal regulations.  These include the 30-fm, 60-fm, 75-fm,100-fm, 150-fm, 200-fm, and 200-fm petrale lines. The 150-fm and 200-fm lines were revised to better reflect actual depth contours.  A new line is included, which modifies the 150-fm line north of Cape Mendocino to include “petrale cutouts.” This line could be used as part of inseason management to modify the trawl RCA.  These changes are effective January 1, 2013.
  • Trawl RCA Period 1 (Jan-Feb) 2013.kmz displays the trawl RCA boundaries (as lines and points) for January-February 2013.
  • Trawl RCA Period 2 (Mar-Apr) 2013.kmz displays the trawl RCA boundaries (as lines and points) for March April 2013.
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Meeting Materials for the Data-Moderate Stocks Webinar on 12/21/2012

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Below you will find meeting materials for the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s online webinar to develop alternatives for determining the status of groundfish stocks based on results of data-moderate assessments. See the Council’s Groundfish blog for webinar information.

Available meeting materials (PDF):

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NMFS Requests Comments on Amendment 17 to the Salmon Fishery Management Plan

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposes regulations to implement Amendment 17 to the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan for Commercial and Recreational Salmon Fisheries off the Coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. Amendment 17, which was transmitted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council on November 5, 2012, to the Secretary of Commerce for review and approval, revises the maximum fishing mortality threshold for Quillayute fall coho, revises the FMP to correct typographical errors, updates reporting measures to reflect new technology, and updates or removes other obsolete or unnecessary language. The Northwest Regional Administrator has determined that the actions of Amendment 17 have all either been previously analyzed in a NEPA document or qualify for categorical exclusion from further NEPA analysis under NAO 216-6. NMFS also proposes minor updates to regulations unrelated to Amendment 17.

Written comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before January 8, 2013. For instructions on how to comment, and to read the entire slate of proposed regulations, please see the following proposed rule available in the Federal Register, dated December 19, 2012.

For further information, please contact Ms. Peggy Mundy at 206-526-4323, or Ms. Heidi Taylor at 562-980-4039, NMFS.

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Highly Migratory Species Management Team to Meet

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) will hold a work session, which is open to the public.  The HMSMT work session will be held January 23-25, 2013 and will begin at 8:30 a.m. each day, and continue until business is completed.

The HMSMT will discuss work assignments to be delivered at the March 2013 Council meeting in Tacoma, Washington.  The Council directed the HMSMT to determine if any changes can be made to the closure dates for, and/or the southern boundary of, the Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area (PLCA) in order to enhance fishing opportunity in the California drift gillnet fishery.  Since the PLCA was established to reduce the take of endangered leatherback sea turtles in this fishery, other mitigation measures may be considered to compensate for any additional fishing opportunity.  Specifically, the HMSMT will consider a regulatory limit on the annual number of incidental take interactions allowed in the fishery.  This regulatory approach has been used successfully in the Hawaii-based shallow-set pelagic longline fishery to limit takes of leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles.

The HMSMT will also begin work on the next Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation document, which is prepared annually, summarizing information from the previous year.  Informational topics may also be discussed, time permitting.

The meetings will be held at the following location:

Large Conference Room, Torrey Pines Court
National Marine Fisheries Service
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
3333 North Torrey Pines Court
La Jolla, California  92037
858-546-7000

Driving Directions

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.

For further information about the work session, please contact Dr. Kit Dahl at 503-820-2280, ext. 422; toll free 1-866-806-7204.

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Groundfish Management Team to Meet January 14 – 18, 2013

Friday, December 7th, 2012

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a work session which is open to the public. The GMT will also meet with a subgroup of the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC).

The GMT meeting will be held Monday, January 14, 2013 from 1 p.m. until business for the day is completed. The GMT meeting will reconvene Tuesday, January 15 through Friday, January 18 from 8:30 a.m. until business for each day has been completed. The joint meeting of the SSC subgroup and the GMT will occur on January 17, 2013.

The primary purpose of the GMT working meeting is to prepare for the 2013 Council meetings, including the upcoming harvest specifications and management measures cycle. Specific agenda topics include the use of descending devices to recompress rockfish discarded in west coast recreational fisheries and the associated mortality rates; changes to the harvest specifications and management measures process under the proposed Amendment 24 to the groundfish Fishery Management Plan; evaluation of and proposed changes to the groundfish stock complexes; and a review of impact projection models. 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 in 2013.

The meeting will be held at the following location:

Hotel Deca
Governor’s Room
4507 Brooklyn Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Telephone: 206-634-2000

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.

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Public Salmon Hearings to be Held

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Public hearings will be held to receive comments on the proposed ocean salmon fishery management alternatives adopted by the Council March 25-26, 2013. All public hearings begin at 7 p.m. on the dates and at the locations specified below:

Monday, March 25, 2013
Chateau Westport
Beach Room
710 W Hancock
Westport, WA 98595
360-268-9101
Driving Directions

Monday, March 25, 2013
Red Lion Hotel
South Umpqua Room
1313 N Bayshore Drive
Coos Bay, OR 97420
541-267-4141
Driving Directions

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Red Lion Eureka
Humboldt Bay Room
1929 Fourth Street
Eureka, CA 95501
707-445-0844
Driving Directions

This 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.

For further information about the public hearings, please contact Mr. Mike Burner at 503-820-2280, ext. 414; toll free 1-866-806-7204.

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Salmon Technical Team to Hold Work Sessions

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Salmon Technical Team (STT) will hold two work sessions.

January 22-25, 2013: The STT will meet at the Council office in a public work session to draft “Review of 2012 Ocean Salmon Fisheries, Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Document for the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan” and to consider any other estimation or methodology issues pertinent to the 2013 ocean salmon fisheries.

February 19-22, 2013: The STT will meet at the Council office in a public work session to draft “Preseason Report I-Stock Abundance Analysis and Environmental Assessment Part 1 for 2013 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations” and to consider any other estimation or methodology issues pertinent to the 2013 ocean salmon fisheries.

The two work sessions will be held at the following location:

Pacific Fishery Management Council
Large Conference Room
7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101
Portland, OR 97220-1384
503-820-2280
Driving Directions

This 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.

For further information about the work sessions, please contact Mr. Mike Burner at 503-820-2280, ext. 414; toll free 1-866-806-7204.

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March 2013 Briefing Book Deadline

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Public Comment Deadline – Advance Briefing Book

Public comments or materials received by 11:59 pm, February 11, 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 February 11 but by 11:59 pm, February 25 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.”

How to Submit Comments

Written public comments and materials on matters before the Council are accepted by the Council at any time prior to the Supplemental Public Comment Deadline (February 25, 11:59 pm). If you cannot meet the “Supplemental deadline” and are planning to testify at the meeting, written copies of your comments can be distributed to Council members at the time you testify. Please bring 40 copies to the meeting with the Agenda Item Topic Number in the upper right corner of the front page of each copy. Comments in electronic format are most welcome as they expedite posting to the Council’s website. Please email your comments to: pfmc.comments@noaa.gov. Of course, we accept comments by “snail mail” and fax; please see our “Contact Us” page.

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