Archive for December, 2014

Ecosystem Advisory Subpanel to Hold Webinar January 14, 2015

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Ecosystem Advisory Subpanel (EAS) will hold a webinar on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, which is open to the public.

The webinar will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will continue until business for the day is completed, but is expected to end no later than 1 p.m.

A public listening station will be available at the Pacific Council office:

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

Purpose of the Meeting and Agenda

The EAS will discuss agenda items in preparation for the Council’s March 2015 meeting in Vancouver, Washington.  The primary focus will be on the review of Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) initiatives.  Other topics may include the Annual State of the California Current Ecosystem Report, FEP Initiative 1: Protecting Unfished and Unmanaged Forage Fish Species and one or more of the Council’s scheduled Administrative Matters.

Webinar Information

  1. Join the meeting by visiting this link:
    http://www.gotomeeting.com/online/webinar/join-webinar
  2. Enter the Webinar ID: 148-672-787
  3. Please enter your name and email address (required)

Once you have joined the webinar, choose either your computer’s audio or select “Use Telephone.” If you do not select “Use Telephone” you will be connected to audio using your computer’s microphone and speakers (VolP). It is recommended that you use a computer headset as GoToMeeting allows you to listen to the meeting using your computer headset and speakers. If you do not have a headset and speakers, you may use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number 1-415-655-0059 (not a toll-free number); phone audio access code 892-406-076; audio phone pin shown after joining the webinar. (See the PFMC GoToMeeting Audio Diagram for best practices).

If you experience technical difficulties and would like assistance, please contact Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at 503-820-2425.

If you have additional questions

For more information regarding this meeting, please contact Mr. Mike Burner at 503-820-2414 or toll free 1-866-806-7204.

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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Trawl Rationalization 2015 cost recovery fee percentages and mothership pricing

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has announced the 2015 Cost Recovery Fee Percentages and Mothership Pricing. Please see the December 30, 2014 Federal Register notice for details; effective date is January 1, 2015.

If you have questions, please contact Christopher Biegel, NMFS, Cost Recovery Program Coordinator, (503) 231-6291, fax (503) 872-2737, email: Christopher.Biegel@noaa.gov.

The annual report for fishing year 2014 and calculation for 2015 will be made available to the public electronically via the NMFS West Coast Region Groundfish Catch Share Program webpage.

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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.

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U.S. and Canada Pacific Hake/Whiting Agreement Joint Technical Committee Meeting; January 13-14, 2015

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

The Pacific Whiting Treaty Joint Technical Committee (JTC) will meet on January 13-14, 2015 at the Watertown Hotel in Seattle, Washington. Draft agenda items include: summary of 2014 acoustics research; summary of 2014 U.S. and Canadian Pacific Whiting/Hake fisheries; and decision making. A draft agenda is available on the NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region Pacific Whiting Treaty webpage at: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/management/whiting/pacific_whiting_treaty.html

This notice posted as a courtesy to NOAA Fisheries. For further information, please contact NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region: email – Allan Hicks, or Miako Ushio by phone at 206-526-4644.

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“The Line”, summary of West Coast fisheries news, December 2014 version available online

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Download The Line, Volume 3, No. 4, December 2014, a publication of the Pacific Fishery Management Council. The Line is a summary of West Coast fisheries news, for fishermen, published four or five times per year. This issue reports on decisions made at the November 2014 Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting.

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.

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Federal Register Documents published December 17, 2014

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Documents published on December 17, 2014 in the Federal Register that can be found on our Federal Register Notices webpage:

  • Fisheries off West Coast States; Final Rule; Regulatory Amendment to Pacific Coast Groundfish Fisheries Trawl Rationalization Program for the Start of 2015
  • Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; West Coast Region Vessel Identification Requirements
  • Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; West Coast Region, Gear Identification Requirements
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Coastal Pelagic Species Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) document available

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The Status of the Pacific Coast Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery; Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE), dated December 2014 is now available on the Council’s website. Please visit the CPS SAFE document webpage to download the document.

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Presidential Task Force on combating IUU recommendations released, comments due by January 20, 2015

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud released its recommendations for establishing a comprehensive framework to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. The recommendations are now available as published in the December 18, 2014 Federal Register notice and open for a 30-day comment period, specifically seeking input and guidance on how to implement them. The comment period begins on December 18, 2014, and closes on January 20, 2015.

For further information, please contact: Ms. Carrie Selberg, NOAA, (301) 427-8021; or visit NOAA Fisheries IUU Task Force webpage.

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Council-adopted changes to the 2015 Pacific Halibut CSP for Area 2A

Monday, December 15th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) adopted changes to the 2015 Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) for Area 2A and annual fishery regulations at the November 2014 Council meeting in Costa Mesa, California.  The Council recommendations for the 2015 CSP and regulations are described below.

Non-Indian Allocations

The Council recommended changes to the non-Indian allocations for the 2015 Pacific Halibut CSP for Area 2A in response to new information indicating a higher abundance of Pacific halibut and greater fishery participation in northern California than when the CSP was originally adopted. The recommended allocations are as follows: Washington sport (35.6 percent), Oregon sport (29.7 percent), California sport (4 percent), and non-Indian commercial fisheries (30.7 percent).

Columbia River Subarea Allocations

The Council recommended changes to the Oregon contribution to the Columbia River subarea allocation such that the Oregon contribution would be equal to 2.3 percent of the Oregon sport quota. The nearshore area allocation is recommended to be 500 pounds of the total Columbia River subarea allocation. The Columbia River subarea allocation less the nearshore area allocation (500 pounds) should be managed to one season by removing the early (80 percent) and late (20 percent) season subarea allocations. The start date for the Columbia River subarea and the nearshore area remains as specified in the 2014 CSP.

Central Oregon Coast Subarea Allocation

The Council recommended increasing the spring all-depth allocation to 63 percent of the Central Oregon Coast subarea allocation.

Southern Oregon Subarea Allocation

The Council recommended increasing the Southern Oregon subarea allocation to 4 percent of the Oregon Sport allocation, less the Oregon contribution to the Columbia River subarea.

Groundfish Retention in the Columbia River and Oregon Central Coast Subareas

The Council also recommended revising the groundfish retention allowances during the all-depth Pacific halibut fisheries in the Columbia River and Oregon Central Coast subareas. During the all-depth days, all flatfish species, in addition to Pacific cod and sablefish, may be retained when Pacific halibut are onboard.

California Subarea Allocation and Management

Starting in 2015, the California subarea is allocated 4 percent of the non-Indian allocation. The Council adopted the inseason monitoring and management strategy described by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW, see Agenda Item G.1.b, Supplemental CDFW Report 2, November 2014).  Specifically, the structuring objective for this subarea is to provide recreational fishing opportunity seven days per week, from May 1 until the date determined inseason when the quota is projected to be taken, or until October 31, whichever is earlier. Additional closed periods during this season, such as closed weeks or months and including a later opening date, may be established preseason by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) based on the subarea quota and projected catch. Based on the subarea quota, and considering stakeholder input, CDFW will provide recommendations to NMFS each year as soon as possible following the determination of the Area 2A total allowable catch on the opening date and other closure dates, such as closed weeks or months that would apply during the fishing season that year.  Closure of the fishery or other inseason adjustments will be made by NMFS via an update to the recreational halibut hotline.

Recommended Clarifications

The Council also adopted the NMFS-recommended clarifications (Agenda Item G.1.b, NMFS Report 3, November 2014), which include amending the language for the directed commercial fishery to allow earlier transfer of unused quota to the salmon troll fishery and updating all references to reflect the establishment of the West Coast Region.

The Council understands that NMFS requested the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) add CDFW to the definition of “authorized officer” in the IPHC regulations. This change was recommended by the Council to allow CDFW staff to enforce Pacific halibut regulations.

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Public Hearings on Salmon Management Alternatives to be Held

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Public hearings will be held to receive comments on the proposed ocean salmon fishery management alternatives adopted by the Council March 30-31, 2015. All public hearings begin at 7 p.m. on the dates and at the locations specified below:

Monday, March 30, 2015
Chateau Westport
Beach Room
710 W Hancock
Westport, WA 98595
360-268-9101
Driving Directions

Monday, March 30, 2015
Red Lion Hotel
South Umpqua Room
1313 N Bayshore Drive
Coos Bay, OR 97420
541-267-4141
Driving Directions

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Motel 6
Convention Room
400 S. Main St.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
707-964-4761
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 503-820-2425 at least five days prior to the meeting date.

For further information about the public hearings, please contact Mr. Mike Burner at 503-820-2414; toll-free 1-866-806-7204.

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