Archive for June, 2017

Public Comment Deadline for the September 2017 Briefing Book

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

September 2017 Advance Briefing Book Public Comment Deadline

Public comment materials received BY 5:00 pm (Pacific Time), Tuesday, August 15, 2017, 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 comment materials received at the Council office after the August 15, 5:00 pm deadline, but BY 5:00 pm (Pacific Time), Tuesday, September 5, 2017 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.”

How to Submit Comments

See the Council’s Briefing Book Public Comment Deadlines webpage for complete details on how to submit comments.  If your comments contain a PowerPoint presentation or video, please review the Council’s Protocol for Submitting Electronic Slide Presentation and Video Materials at the Meeting.

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Two Important Groundfish Stocks Rebuilt

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

 

Bocaccio. NOAA Fisheries

Two important West Coast groundfish stocks that were formerly overfished have now been rebuilt.

Bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish, which are managed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, were under strict rebuilding plans that have constrained West Coast fisheries for more than a decade. Bocaccio was declared overfished in 1999, and darkblotched rockfish in 2000; both were rebuilt well before their original target dates.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils that manage ocean fisheries in the United States. Altogether, the Pacific Council manages more than 100 species of groundfish.

Managing groundfish fisheries under rebuilding plans has been an immense challenge for the Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries). These plans required sharp reductions in commercial and recreational fisheries targeting groundfish, which included widespread fishing closures through the establishment of Rockfish Conservation Areas off the West Coast and other measures. Since 2003, managing overfished species through area closures such as the Rockfish Conservation Areas has helped to reduce fishing impacts and rebuild overfished groundfish species. In addition, the groundfish fleet has had to limit fishing for other more abundant species to avoid unintentional catch of the overfished stocks.

Darkblotched rockfish. Image courtesy of Lewis and Clark Legacy 2001/NOAA OER

“The rebuilding strategies used to achieve this conservation success, coupled with favorable environmental conditions for groundfish productivity, have paid huge dividends in rebuilding our overfished groundfish stocks and resurrecting West Coast groundfish fisheries,” said Council Chair Herb Pollard.

The successful rebuilding of these species reflects the support and sacrifice of West Coast ports and fishermen who recognized the difficult actions and fishing cutbacks necessary to restore the stocks. The rebuilding of bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish will lead to increased harvest opportunities beginning in 2019.

“By working together, we’ve brought bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish back to where they will again be part of a sustainable West Coast groundfish fishery that creates renewed opportunity for the fishing fleet, as well as more options for seafood consumers,” said Barry Thom, Regional Administrator of NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region.

Between 1999 and 2017, ten West Coast groundfish stocks were declared overfished, as surveys documented their declining numbers. Pacific whiting, for example, was declared overfished in 2002. The Council, working with NOAA Fisheries and the fishing industry, reduced commercial harvests. Combined with strong reproduction and recruitment, the fishing cutbacks led to the rapid rebuilding of Pacific whiting by 2004. The Council and NOAA Fisheries developed rebuilding plans for the other nine overfished stocks—bocaccio, darkblotched rockfish, lingcod, canary rockfish, cowcod, Pacific ocean perch, widow rockfish, petrale sole, and yelloweye rockfish.

Lingcod was declared rebuilt in 2005, and widow rockfish in 2012. Both petrale sole and canary rockfish were declared rebuilt in 2015. Rebuilding plans remain in place for three remaining overfished species: cowcod, Pacific ocean perch, and yelloweye rockfish. New assessments for Pacific ocean perch and yelloweye rockfish will be reviewed this summer and may be adopted in September. Cowcod is expected to be rebuilt by 2019.

“The Council is a transparent, science-based, inclusive approach to fisheries management,” said Council Executive Director Chuck Tracy. “Our progress in rebuilding overfished stocks shows the effectiveness of this approach. West Coast fisheries are a model of sustainable resource management, and they will continue to provide healthy seafood, jobs, and support for coastal communities, as well as access to this resource for all Americans.”

Process

The bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish assessments were developed by scientists at NOAA Fisheries and were reviewed by the Council’s scientific advisory bodies. NOAA Fisheries confirmed the stocks’ status as rebuilt on June 16.

Council Role

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 for the purpose of managing fisheries 3‐200 nautical miles offshore of the United States of America coastline. The Pacific Council recommends management measures for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

On the Web

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June 2017 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, June 19th, 2017

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met June 9-14, 2017 in Spokane, Washington. The June 2017 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document contains the highlights of significant decisions made at that meeting. Results of agenda items that do not reach a level of highlight significance are typically not described in the Decision Summary Document.

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An agenda and materials are now available for today’s (June 19) Ad Hoc Ecosystem Workgroup webinar

Monday, June 19th, 2017

An agenda and materials are now available for today’s (June 19) Ad Hoc Ecosystem Workgroup webinar.

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September 2017 Council Meeting

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

The Pacific Fishery Management Council and its advisory bodies met September 11-18, 2017 in Boise, Idaho, to address issues related to groundfish, coastal pelagic species, highly migratory species, salmon, ecosystem, Pacific halibut, and habitat matters.

Meeting Location

The Riverside Hotel
2900 Chinden Blvd
Boise, ID 83714
Phone: 208-343-1871

Meeting Documents and Recordings

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Salmon Technical Team to Hold Webinar June 28, 2017

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Salmon Technical Team (STT)  will hold a webinar on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, which is open to the public.  The webinar will begin at 9 a.m. and will continue until business for the day is completed, but is expected to end no later than 12 p.m.  The STT will develop a plan and timeline to review inquires to change the commercial salmon troll fishery boundary in two different areas.

In April 2017, the Council heard a request to move the commercial salmon troll fishery boundary at Horse Mountain (40° 05′ N. latitude) northward five miles (40° 10′ N. latitude.)  The STT was asked by the Council to investigate any technical issues that may arise from such a move.   Since that time, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has asked the Council to review its plan to adjust the commercial salmon troll fishery boundary between the north Oregon and central Oregon area.  It is anticipated the STT will develop a work plan and timeline needed to conduct the analysis and produce a report for Council review.  If time and interest allows, the team may also discuss additional topics, including but not limited to developing a Council Operating Procedure to help guide future requests for a boundary-change.

Agenda (Updated Link on the Agenda)

To Attend the Webinar

  1. Join the meeting by visiting this link:
    https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/
  2. Enter the Webinar ID: 837-202-733
  3. Please enter your name and email address (required)

AFTER logging in to the webinar, please select “Use Telephone” and then:

  • Dial this TOLL number +1 (872) 240-3212 (not a toll-free number)
  • Enter the Attendee phone audio access code 837-202-733
  • Then enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar).

Participants are required to use their telephone, as this is the best practice to avoid technical issues and excessive feedback.

Technical Information

System Requirements

  • PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 7, Vista, or XP
  • Mac®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
  • Mobile attendees: Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet (See the GoToMeeting Webinar Apps)

You may send an email to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt or contact him at 503-820-2280, extension 411 for technical assistance.

Public Listening Station

A public listening station will also be provided at the Council office.

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

Additional information

Public comments during the webinar will be received from attendees at the discretion of the STT chair.

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 503-820-2411 at least ten days prior to the meeting date.  If you have additional questions regarding the webinar, please contact Ms. Robin Ehlke at 503-820-2410; toll-free 1-866-806-7204.

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PRELIMINARY JUNE 2017 DRAFT MOTIONS IN WRITING

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Cautionary Note — These preliminary motions do not represent the final official administrative record. The motions and amendments contained in this blog are as projected on the screen at the Council meeting at the time of the Council vote and often use expedited language and references without the benefit of any final editing or proofing. They may use short-hand language or abbreviations that may not be clear without the context of verbal comments and clarifications made during their development at the meeting, or may contain inadvertent transposition errors. They have not been approved by the Council to represent the final official record of Council action. The final official record will be posted on the Council website after the Council approves the full meeting record at a future Council meeting.

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Quick Link to the June 2017 Briefing Book

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Use this “Quick Link” to the June 2017 Briefing Book:

June 2017 Briefing Book

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