Archive for July, 2019

Pacific Council News, Summer 2019: Habitat

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Habitat Report

Jordan Cove letter

Jordan Cove Liquified Natural Gas project location near Coos Bay, Oregon

In July the Council sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the proposed Jordan Cove Liquified Natural Gas Terminal and Pipeline, which would transport liquified natural gas (LNG) 229 miles from near Klamath Falls, Oregon to the coastal export terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon for shipping across the Pacific. The Coos Bay project includes two storage tanks, five liquefaction processing structures, vessel loading facilities, a large deepwater vessel slip, LNG carrier vessels, a marine access channel, and supporting infrastructure. On March 29th, FERC issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project.

The proposed pipeline would cross or otherwise impact 352 water bodies, including water bodies that are known to support salmon and other Council-managed stocks. In addition to environmental impacts, a security zone 500 meters wide–equal to the width of the existing navigation channel–will be required around LNG carrier vessels. This could impact all other vessel traffic while carrier vessels are present. FERC estimates 120 carrier vessels will transit the area each year.

Construction will require large-scale channel modification and continuous dredging, and will impact estuarine habitats that are important to several Council-managed species (Chinook and coho salmon, sardine, herring, Pacific sanddabs, English sole, starry flounder, lingcod, and rockfishes), and their prey.

Map of proposed Jordan Cove pipeline (click for larger version)

Fishermen and processors believe that the proposed project is likely to disrupt fishing-related business and offloading activities in the vicinity of the terminal site at Coos Bay. Recreational fishing will also be disrupted in the estuary and streams.

An analysis of the social and economic impacts to Council-managed fisheries due to loss of productive habitats, direct mortality on fish species and prey, disruption of fishing activities and port deliveries has not been conducted, but impacts are likely to be significant.

National Marine Fisheries Service has not yet undertaken an essential fish habitat consultation or developed conservation recommendations for the project. For more details, see the Council letter and the related Oregonian article.

Forest Service Standards

In a related matter, the Habitat Committee discussed the U.S. Forest Service’s forest plan standards, which would need to be amended to accommodate the Jordan Cove pipeline. The standards affect rare species and riparian zones, which are also designated as essential fish habitat. The Council directed the Habitat Committee to draft a letter to the Forest Service on this subject for the September briefing book.

Offshore wind turbines

California Offshore Renewable Energy

Chris Potter from the California Natural Resource Agency/Ocean Protection Council gave a presentation to the Habitat Committee on California offshore renewable energy lease efforts. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has issued a call for information and nomination for three potential offshore energy leasing areas near Humboldt Bay, Morro Bay, and Diablo Canyon, California. The latter two are understood to be in conflict with Department of Defense operations, but political pressure is being applied to move projects forward despite Defense objections. Currently 14 companies have submitted indications of interest to obtain a commercial lease for a wind energy project.

Coastal Sediment Management

Rising sea levels mean more coastal erosion, which means that beaches need to be restored to protect habitats for many species. These include species that spawn on the beach, such as sand lance, surf smelt, and grunion. In June, the Habitat Committee heard a presentation on sediment management and beach nourishment in California and Washington. In California, the Coastal Sediment Management Workgroup is a collaborative state and Federal effort that has helped develop 14 regional sediment management plans covering the California coast.

In Washington, beach nourishment is being used to restore beaches that are lacking natural sediment. Ninety percent of Puget Sound’s beaches are fed by sediment from eroding bluffs, and a third of these bluffs have shoreline armoring that prevents sediment from moving naturally to the beach. In beach restoration, sediment is placed above the water level on beaches to protect benthic organisms and to allow the sediment to be distributed by coastal processes. At the same time, shoreline armoring is often removed, and large woody debris is added. These efforts can restore surf smelt and sand lance spawning habitat, both of which are prey species for Council-managed species.

Klamath issues

Since April 1, the Bureau of Reclamation has been operating the Klamath Project under a new Biological Opinion (BiOp), which has caused some issues with water management given the mid-year switch. For example, below-average discharge from Iron Gate Dam has left the Klamath with drought-like flows, while every stream around it has above-average discharge. The Yurok Tribe is suing Reclamation over its methods for calculating the block of environmental water (all water not allocated for agriculture).

The levels of Ceratomyxa shasta, a parasite that contributes to fish kills in the Klamath, started climbing in May. A pulse flow was released to flush the spores from the river and to help ensure hatchery fish survival. Initially, only 65 percent of the Iron Gate Hatchery fall Chinook were going to be released, but because of mortality concerns and to capitalize on the pulse flow, California Department of Fish and Wildlife decided to release the last of the Chinook during this pulse as well, despite the fact that the fish were undersized and only 7 percent were marked with coded wire tags, rather than the typical 25 percent.

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Pacific Council News Summer 2019: Coastal Pelagic Species

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Coastal Pelagic Species Shorts

Pacific sardine

Proposed sardine rules: On July 1, NMFS published harvest specifications and management measures for the 2019-2020 Pacific sardine fishing year based on Council recommendations at the April 2019 meeting. The biomass estimate of 27,547 metric tons (mt) places sardine in the “overfished” category, meaning the Council and NMFS must develop a rebuilding plan within two years after the “overfished” declaration is published by NMFS (July 9, 2019). This is the fifth year biomass was below the 150,000 mt cutoff value, meaning that directed commercial fishing will remain closed for the fifth straight year. The live bait fishery will be allowed to target sardines until 2,500 mt have been landed, at which point a 1-mt landing cap will apply. Once the annual catch target of 4,000 mt is attained, all fisheries will be limited to a 1-mt incidental landing allowance.  

Category change: The “active” and “monitored” categories currently used in the Coastal Pelagic Species Management Plan will be eliminated and replaced with individual descriptions of the management approach for each stock, as directed by the Council in June. The Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team and Council staff are expected to produce a draft revised fishery management plan for consideration at the June 2020 Council meeting.

New prioritization process: A new process for prioritizing coastal pelagic species stock assessments will begin in November 2020, to inform stock assessment priorities beginning in 2022. This biennial process will allow for revisions in intervening years based on new information, and will help with data review and research planning. Pacific sardine will undergo a benchmark assessment in 2020, and the central subpopulation of northern anchovy will be assessed in 2021.

Central Subpopulation of Northern Anchovy harvest specifications:  On May 31, NMFS published a final rule establishing a new overfishing limit, acceptable biological catch, and annual catch limit for the central subpopulation of northern anchovy. The finalized reference points include an overfishing limit of 94,290 mt, and an annual catch limit of 23,573 mt (down from the 25,000 mt in recent years). The harvest specifications are effective July 1 for the remainder of the January 1 through December 31 fishing year.

Pacific mackerel

Final Action on Pacific Mackerel Assessment, Harvest Specifications, and Management

In June the Council adopted the 2019 Pacific mackerel stock assessment, reference points and management measures for 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 fisheries. These include the specifications  in the table below, and the following management measures: if the directed fishery reaches the annual catch target, it will close and shift to an incidental-only fishery for the remainder of the fishing year, with a 45 percent incidental landing allowance when Pacific mackerel are landed with other coastal pelagic species (CPS); in non-CPS fisheries, up to 3 mt of Pacific mackerel per landing may be landed.  

Proposed 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 Pacific Mackerel Harvest Specifications

2019-2020 2020-2021
Biomass 71,099 56,058
OFL 14,931 11,772
ABC0.45  (Tier 2) 13,169 10,289
ACL (=ABC) 13,169 10,289
HG 11,109 7,950
ACT 10,109 6,950
Incidental 1,000 1,000

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Pacific Council News Summer 2019: Pacific Halibut

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Pacific halibut

Transfer of Halibut Management Authority Moves Forward

Plans to transfer management of the non-Indian commercial directed halibut fishery from the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) to the Council are moving forward. In June, the Council committed to working closely with the IPHC and stakeholders on transitioning the management of this fishery, and outlined the Council’s intentions for the fishery in the near future. 

The Council asked that IPHC continue to issue licenses for the 2A halibut fisheries, including the directed commercial halibut fishery for 2020 and 2021, to provide time to develop and enact a new regulatory framework. The Council will also ask IPHC to enter into a data sharing arrangement for the IPHC 2A halibut licensing system and the commercial directed halibut fishery logbook data.

For the next few years the Council will focus on a smooth transfer of management authority for the commercial directed fishery, and will not be considering any major changes to the current fishery structure.  That said, the Council will consider changes to the fishery within the existing structure (i.e., an open access fishery managed by fishing periods and vessel limits) beginning in 2019 for 2020 regulations. 

Beginning in 2019, the Council will use the September and November meetings (concurrent with the halibut Catch Sharing Plan process) to set directed commercial halibut fishery regulations within the existing season structure. 

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Pacific Council News Summer 2019: Highly Migratory Species

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Highly Migratory Species Shorts

Deep-set buoy gear: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) presented an analysis of the biological impacts of a deep-set buoy gear fishery in June. The data comes from observer records and logbooks for deep-set buoy gear exempted fishing permit activity from 2015 through early 2019, and shows how many targeted and non-targeted species were caught with deep-set buoy gear during that period (see Table 1). The Council plans to choose a final preferred alternative on deep-set buoy gear in September. It has identified potential socioeconomic effects stemming from the number of permits that would be issued to fish in the Southern California Bight under the Council’s proposed  limited entry program. An analysis of these potential effects would help the Council decide in September how many limited entry permits should be issued for this new fishery, assuming it moves forward.

Final rule on commercial Pacific bluefin tuna: On May 2, 2019, NMFS published a final rule implementing Inter-American Tropical Tuna Committee resolutions on Pacific bluefin tuna. The final rule includes catch limits for U.S. commercial vessels that fish for Pacific bluefin tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean during 2019 and 2020. The rule implements a 630 metric ton (mt) catch limit for both years combined, with catch not to exceed 425 mt in a single year, and establishes a trip limit of 15 mt until catch is within 50 mt of the catch limit, and a 2 mt trip limit when catch is within 50 mt of the catch limit.

The final rule also creates reporting requirements. When the trip limit is 15 mt, purse seine vessel owners or operators must submit a pre-trip notification to NMFS 24 hours before starting a trip that will result in landing more than 2 mt of Pacific bluefin tuna (in other words, more than 2 mt of Pacific bluefin tuna may not be landed unless NMFS received a pre-trip notification). The rule also implements new procedures for taking inseason action. Legal notices for inseason actions will be posted on the NOAA Fisheries website, which will be followed up by radio call broadcasted by the U.S. Coast Guard. 

In addition, as of July 1, 2019, fish buyers will be required to submit electronic landings receipts with Pacific bluefin tuna landings in California ports using the “E-tix” system within 24 hours of landing.

West Coast bluefin tuna harvest strategy: In 2018, the Council directed its advisory bodies to bring forward ideas for a long-term harvest strategy for Pacific bluefin tuna, and in May, NMFS hosted a meeting with stakeholders to discuss the future of the bluefin commercial fishery on the west coast. This NMFS report  includes a summary of discussions at the meeting along with a process to allow the Council to contribute to future Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Pacific bluefin tuna resolutions.

Sea turtle bycatch: The United States plans to submit a proposal to strengthen the IATTC’s existing sea turtle bycatch resolution (C-07-03), recognizing that this would require foreign fleets to take measures that are similar to those currently required by U.S. pelagic longline vessels, such as use of circle hooks and finfish bait.

Management strategy evaluations: The International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-Like Species in the North Pacific Ocean is conducting management strategy evaluations for North Pacific albacore and Pacific bluefin tuna. In June the Council reiterated its support of U.S. stakeholder participation in these processes. 

Bluefin tuna meetings. The Council agreed to fund travel costs for two Highly Migratory Species Management Team members and four Highly Migratory Species Advisory Subpanel members to attend the Pacific bluefin IATTC-Northern Committee Joint Working Group and Northern Committee meetings during the week of September 2, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. This will allow advisory bodies to better understand the regional fishery management organization process and communicate those lessons to the Council.

Drift gillnet performance. Each June, the Council receives a report from its Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) comparing estimated bycatch of prohibited species in the large mesh drift gillnet fishery against historical benchmark levels. According to the latest report, in 2016, take of northern right whale dolphins slightly exceeded the benchmark level, while in 2017 take of risso’s dolphin and sperm whale exceeded the benchmark. In its report the HMSMT also described an alternative way to assess bycatch in the fishery. This method, which was reviewed by the Scientific and Statistical Committee in 2018, will be used at the June 2020 Council meeting.

Yellowfin tuna diving (NOAA)

Yellowfin Tuna Regulations Discussed

Additional yellowfin tuna regulations are not needed at this time, the Council concluded in June. In 2018 NMFS notified the Council that the Eastern Pacific Ocean stock of yellowfin tuna was subject to overfishing, and that the Council must make recommendations by November 2018 to address the problem. The overfishing determination was based on a 2018 IATTC stock assessment which found that the fishing level was just barely over the level that defines this condition. The IATTC completed a new assessment in 2019, but there are major uncertainties about the results, meaning that NMFS is unlikely to consider it the “best scientific information available.” 

Because West Coast catch of yellowfin is a tiny proportion of total eastern Pacific Ocean catch, the Council concluded that additional constraints in West Coast fisheries aren’t needed now. In terms of international action, the Council focused its recommendations on efforts to make sure next year’s IATTC “benchmark” assessment produces reliable results. To that end the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee met with the IATTC staff scientists who worked on the assessment to identify potential improvements.

Seventeen Exempted Fishing Permits Forwarded

The Council reviewed 18 deep-set buoy gear exempted fishing permit (EFP) applications submitted for the June Council meeting and forwarded 17 applications to NMFS for issuance. It also preliminarily approved an EFP for night-set buoy gear under 100 percent observer coverage, with a final recommendation coming in September.

Beyond considering these new applications, the Council recommended that NMFS renew the current twenty-one standard deep-set buoy gear and ten linked deep-set buoy gear EFPs for 2020. Since many previously reviewed and recommended permit applications haven’t been issued, the Council asked NMFS to put the current batch of applications at the head of the line. 

Other EFPs reviewed in 2017 and 2018 haven’t been issued because the applicant hasn’t followed through on steps needed for NMFS to issue a permit. For that reason, the Council recommended that NMFS stop considering these applications if the applicant hasn’t followed through by the end of this year.

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Pacific Council News, Summer 2019: Groundfish

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Log of the Cutty Sark.

Council, NMFS Agree on Creating Federal Trawl Logbook Program

Earlier this year, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposed a new Federal logbook information collection program for the shorebased individual fishing quota trawl fishery that would require a logbook for Federally-managed groundfish species. This proposal was brought to the Council for consideration and recommendations in June. The NMFS proposal came in response to the repeal of California commercial logbook requirements for Federal fisheries by the California Fish and Game Commission. The California requirement for shorebased limited entry trawl vessels to report Federally-managed species by logbook will end July 1, 2019. 

Trawl logbooks have long been required by the states, but currently there is no Federal logbook requirement. While Oregon and Washington will continue to provide logbooks for the trawl fishery, the loss of California data would represent a major loss of information to fisheries managers and scientists.  The data are used in many critical activities such as stock assessments, area management, and bycatch interactions.

The Council agreed with NMFS that creation of a Federal logbook information collection program for the shorebased individual fishing quota trawl fishery was necessary in order to minimize data loss from California ports. The Federal system will ensure the continued coverage of limited entry trawl vessels on the west coast, and should avoid substantial gaps in the trawl logbook dataset from California. Additionally, this program will provide coverage if Oregon or Washington remove their logbook requirement in the future.

Groundfish Endangered Species Workgroup Meets

The Pacific Coast Groundfish Endangered Species Workgroup met this spring to review incidental take estimates of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Workgroup advises the Council on the ESA compliance of West Coast groundfish fishing, reviewing estimates of incidental take for eulachon, green sturgeon, humpback whales, leatherback sea turtles, and short-tailed albatross. The Workgroup reported to the Council in June that the fishery had exceeded the incidental take guidelines for humpback whales, but was under the limits for eulachon, green sturgeon, short-tailed albatross, and leatherback sea turtles. 

NMFS has begun its reconsultation on the effects of Council-managed fisheries on humpback whales. The Workgroup recommended research into new fishing gear that may reduce whale entanglements, and supported the Council’s efforts to decrease take of ESA-listed seabirds (see article below). To this end, the Workgroup recommended that the Council and NMFS continue to explore ways to improve fixed-gear configurations (particularly for floated longline gear). 

The Council agreed with a Groundfish Advisory Subpanel recommendation that three groundfish industry members be added to the workgroup before the next meeting. 

Additionally, the Workgroup recommended a logbook for the fixed-gear fisheries, as it had in past reports. This would provide critical data to managers and scientists. The Council reaffirmed its support for this idea and recommended that NMFS pursue development of a fixed-gear logbook.

The Council adopted all the recommendations noted above, which are detailed in the Workgroup’s report.

Short-tailed albatross (Wikimedia)

Council Takes Final Action on Albatross Take in Longline Fishery

In June, the Council selected its final preferred alternative to address the take of albatross in groundfish longline fisheries.

Under the alternative, non-tribal vessels 26 feet and greater (overall length) using bottom longline gear in the limited entry fixed gear, open access fixed gear, and Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota Program, must either use streamer lines or deploy gear at night. (See link for technical requirements).

Currently, vessels 55 feet and longer must use streamer lines, which deter seabirds from diving on baited hooks as they are deployed.

Vessels fishing south of 36° N. latitude would be exempt from the requirements. Vessels 26-55 feet could deploy streamer lines at their discretion when a small craft wind advisory (or higher) is in effect.

The Council also encouraged continued collaborative research to develop and test enforceable floated mainline gear configurations that can sink within the streamer line zone to reduce seabird interactions.

The decision was made in response to a 2017 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion addressing take of endangered short-tailed albatross in Council-managed groundfish longline fisheries. The opinion required the Council to extend the existing streamer line requirements to smaller vessels. It also allowed vessels to set the gear at night, when albatross are not active, as an alternative to deploying streamer lines. These requirements apply when fishing in Federal waters (3-200 nautical miles).

NMFS expects to finalize regulations implementing the Council proposal by the beginning of 2020.

Inseason Adjustments to Groundfish Fisheries

In June the Council considered routine inseason action on groundfish stocks as well as adjustments to incidental landings of Pacific halibut in the primary sablefish fishery north of Point Chehalis. 

The Council also discussed the unexpectedly high bycatch of shortbelly rockfish in the at-sea whiting fleet to-date. NMFS decided not to implement accountability measures on the groundfish fishery related to shortbelly rockfish at this time. 

The Council heard from the California Groundfish Collective regarding how annual vessel limits for cowcod may curtail their fishing efforts earlier than expected. The Council took no action on this issue, but did not oppose NMFS reviewing an exempted fishing permit submitted by the Collective that may provide options for them to continue fishing.

The Council adopted the recommendations of the GMT as follows:

  • Increase incidental Pacific halibut landing allowance from 200 to 250 lbs dressed weight Pacific halibut per 1,000 lbs dressed weight sablefish, plus 2 Pacific halibut in the primary sablefish fishery north of Point Chehalis.  
  • Increase limited entry bocaccio trip limit for the area between 40° 10′ N. lat. – 34° 27′ N. lat. to 1,500 lbs per 2 months
  • Recommend revised trip limits for big skate in the shorebased IFQ program as shown:
Jan/Feb March/Apr May/June July/Aug Sept/Oct Nov/Dec
5,000 lbs 25,000 lbs 30,000 lbs 70,000 lbs 20,000 lbs 20,000 lbs
  • Open Access sablefish recommendations:
    • Open Access North 300 lb per day, or one landing per week up to 1,400 lb, not to exceed 2,800 lb per 2 months.
    • Open Access South 300 lb per day, or one landing per week up to 1,600 lb, not to exceed 4,800 lb per 2 months.

NMFS Developing Electronic Monitoring Guidelines

NMFS is developing internal guidelines on how electronic monitoring data is stored, and is considering the costs and benefits of video storage, and the management, scientific, and enforcement needs of electronic monitoring programs around the country. NMFS will also consider different types of data storage to reduce costs to industry. NMFS is expected to provide a draft procedural directive on this issue at the September or November Council meeting for review and comment. 

In addition, NMFS recently published a final rule to implement electronic monitoring for the midwater trawl whiting and fixed-gear catch share fisheries on the West Coast. In September, the Council will review a NMFS document that will guide electronic monitoring providers and fishermen on how to participate in the program.

Council Adopts Schedule for Setting 2021-2022 Harvest Specs, Management Measures

In June the Council adopted a schedule for setting 2021-22 groundfish harvest specifications and management measuresThe schedule includes steps such as scientific peer review of data and analyses; preparation of analytical documents; state meetings to solicit public input; and notice and comment rulemaking. The next steps, scheduled for the September Council meeting in Boise, Idaho, are to consider new harvest specifications and management measures. All of these steps need to be timed so that the new regulations can be implemented on January 1, 2021.

The Council also discussed a streamlined process that would allow management measures to be put in place on January 1, 2021 and would free up resources for related Council actions. Final action is scheduled for June 2020.

Council Ponders How to Phase in Conservative Catch Limits

The Council is considering new ways to phase in more conservative catch limits for groundfish stocks in order to ease short-term negative economic impacts when catch limits are significantly reduced. One option is to phase in new acceptable biological catches (ABCs) over three years. Another is to set ABCs for a limited period based on higher overfishing probabilities than the current maximum. These changes will require a fishery management plan amendment.

In September the Council will look at criteria for these new harvest control rules, a time limit for the duration of the phase-in period (or frequency of their use), the types of analyses needed, and the timing of an amendment process. The Council would like feedback on whether this process should synchronize with the 2021-22 biennial specifications process or be considered on another track. The Council also requested a list of stocks that would be good candidates for these alternative rules. 

This issue arose in response to new sigma values recommended by the Scientific and Statistical Committee for determining ABC buffers. The sigma value represents the scientific uncertainty in estimating an overfishing limit. One feature of the new sigma framework is that the sigma (and hence the ABC buffer) increases with the age of the assessment. These larger buffers will result in lower annual catch limits for some key stocks such as Oregon black rockfish.

The phase-in of an ABC control rule is designed to help stabilize catch levels as stock assessments are updated. Whether to apply such a control rule for stocks in the precautionary zone or for rebuilding stocks will be part of the scoping discussion.

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Pacific Council News Summer 2019: Administrative and Other stories

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Sardines

Legislative Report

In June the Council has received a request from Senator Maria Cantwell for comment on HR 2236, the Forage Fish Conservation Act. The Council responded with a letter emphasizing the actions that the Council has already taken to protect forage fish species. HR 2236 would amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) to require Scientific and Statistical Committees to provide scientific advice on maintaining a sufficient abundance of forage fish populations; add forage fish populations and distribution as a research priority; require Councils to develop lists of unmanaged forage fish species and prohibit development of new fisheries; and require Councils to reduce annual catch limits for forage fish fisheries according to the dietary needs of fish species and other marine wildlife. The Council has already take several of these steps.

Kelly Ames (NMFS) provided an overview of the Modern Fish Act, which became law on December 31, 2018. The Act aims to “expand recreational fishing opportunities through enhanced marine fishery conservation and management.” It defines management measures for recreational fisheries, creates recreational registry and data collection programs, and requires several new reports and studies. Specifically, Councils may “use fishery management measures in a recreational fishery… such as extraction rates, fishing mortality targets, harvest control rules, or traditional or cultural practices of native communities.” The reports required of the Pacific Council and NMFS West Coast Region relate to cooperative data collection, the Marine Recreational Information Program, and state recreational data collection. The Act also reaffirms existing requirements under the MSA related to overfishing.

In other legislative news, Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Seth Moulton (D-WA) have introduced a bill that would amend the MSA to provide fisheries disaster relief for commercial fishery failures that are due to increases in duties on any United States seafood or fish products; and on June 27, the Columbia River In-Lieu and Treaty Fishing Access Sites Improvement Act, introduced by Jeff Merkley (D-OR), passed the House. This Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to assess and improve sanitation and safety conditions at Bureau of Indian Affairs facilities that were constructed to provide affected Columbia River Treaty tribes access to traditional fishing grounds.

Appointments

The Council re-elected Phil Anderson as Council Chair and Marc Gorelnik as Council Vice-Chair for the 2019-2020 term. In addition, Jessica Watson was appointed to the vacant Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife positions on the Highly Migratory Species Management Team and the ad hoc Ecosystem Workgroup, Bob Dooley was appointed to the Council Coordination Committee’s Council Member Ongoing Development Subcommittee, and Christa Svensson will shadow U.S. Commissioner Dorothy Lowman, the Council’s representative to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, as a means of building understanding and international working relationships.

Allocation Review Procedures Adopted

The Council adopted as final Council Operating Procedure 27, which specifies the triggers the Council will use to determine when intersector allocations should be reviewed.

The Council will consider either public interest or the passage of a specific time period as a potential trigger to determine whether an allocation should be reviewed. Once a trigger is met, and the Council identifies a schedule and resources for the review, the next step would be a preliminary evaluation of whether a change to the allocation should be considered.  If so, the next step would be to develop alternatives and a complete analysis for Council consideration.

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Highly Migratory Species Management Team to Meet in Long Beach, CA August 7-8, 2019

Monday, July 8th, 2019

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council’s) Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) will hold a meeting, which is open to the public, Wednesday, August 7, and Thursday, August 8, 2019, and will start at 8:30 a.m. and continue until business is concluded on each day.

Meeting agenda

Purpose of the meeting

The purpose of the HMSMT meeting is to review the analysis of the range of alternatives (including the preliminary preferred alternative) for authorizing a fishery using deep-set buoy gear adopted by the Council in March 2019.  The Council is scheduled to use this analysis to choose a final preferred alternative at its September 2019 meeting.  The HMSMT may also discuss other HMS items on upcoming Council meeting agendas and associated tasks. These items may include international management of HMS, review of exempted fishing permit proposals and related process issues, potential actions by the Council on the pelagic longline and large mesh drift gillnet fisheries, and updates to the HMS Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation document. An agenda listing candidate discussion topics will be made available on the Council website in advance of the meeting.

Meeting location

Room 3300, Third Floor
Glenn M. Anderson Federal Building
501 W. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802
Driving Directions

Additional information

Public comments during the meeting will be received from attendees at the discretion of the HMSMT chair.

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 503-820-2411, at least ten days prior to the meeting date.

For meeting location information, please contact Mr. Lyle Enriquez at 562-980-4025.

Visitors need to present photo ID and pass through electronic security equipment to enter the building.

There is no visitor parking available in the building for the general public.  Metered street parking is nearby. Commercial parking lots are within walking distance to the building.

For further information about the meeting, please contact Dr. Kit Dahl at 503-820-2422; toll-free 1-866-806-7204.

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Southern Resident Killer Whale Workgroup to Hold Webinars August 6 and September 4, 2019

Monday, July 8th, 2019

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council)  Ad Hoc Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) Workgroup (Workgroup) will convene two webinars, which are open to the public.  The first meeting, to be held via webinar, will convene on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), or until business for the day has been completed. The second meeting, to be held via webinar, will convene Wednesday, September 4, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. PDT, or until business for the day has been completed.  These are public meetings and not public hearings.  Public comments will be taken at the discretion of the Workgroup co-chairs as time allows.

Agendas

Purpose of the Meetings

The purpose of the August 6 webinar is to discuss the development of the a draft risk analysis, identify remaining data needs, and follow up on assignments and discussions from the Workgroup’s previous meetings; the September 4 webinar will focus mainly on finalizing the draft risk analysis in preparation for the Council meeting in September in Boise, Idaho.  At both of these meetings, the Workgroup may also discuss work plans, and progress made on assigned tasks related to the Workgroup’s prime objective of reassessing the effects of Council-area ocean salmon fisheries on the Chinook salmon prey base of SRKW.  Although non-emergency issues not contained in the Workgroup meeting agendas may come before the Workgroup for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings.

Supplemental Information

At the March 2019 Council meeting, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced plans to reinitiate Endangered Species Act consultation on the effect of Council-area ocean salmon fisheries on SRKW.  NMFS and the Council agreed on a collaborative approach and began establishing work plans and a tentative schedule.  At the April 2019 Council meeting, the Council formed the Workgroup to reassess the effects of Council-area ocean salmon fisheries on the Chinook salmon prey base of SRKW.  The Workgroup has held multiple meetings since their inception.  Materials presented during past Workgroup meetings may be found on the NMFS West Coast Regional website (https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/west-coast/southern-resident-killer-whales-and-fisheries-interaction-workgroup).

To Attend the Webinars

  1. Join the meeting by visiting this link:
    https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar/join-webinar
  2. Enter the Webinar ID: 687-012-435
  3. Please enter your name and email address (required)
  4. You must use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number +1 (631) 992-3221 (not a toll-free number)
  5. Then enter the Attendee phone audio access code 972-015-065
  6. Then enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar)

NOTE: We have disabled Mic/Speakers as on option and require all participants to use a telephone or cell phone to participate.

Technical Information

System Requirements

  • PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 10, 8, 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

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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Ad Hoc Climate and Communities Core Team to Hold Webinar August 8, 2019

Monday, July 8th, 2019

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Pacific Council) Ad Hoc Climate and Communities Core Team (CCCT) will hold a meeting via webinar, which is open to the public.  The webinar will be held Thursday, August 8, 2019, from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m, Pacific Daylight Time.  The webinar time is an estimate; the meeting will adjourn when business for the day is complete.

Agenda

Purpose of the Webinar

The purpose of this meeting is for the CCCT to plan tasks associated with the Pacific Council’s climate change scenario planning exercise and discuss the contents of a Team report to be submitted for the September Pacific Council meeting.

To Attend the Webinar

  1. Join the meeting by visiting this link:
    https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar
  2. Enter the Webinar ID: 592-373-147
  3. Please enter your name and email address (required)
  4. You must use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number 1-415-655-0060 (not a toll-free number)
  5. Enter the Attendee phone audio access code 850-419-766
  6. Enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar)

Technical Information

System Requirements

  • PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 10, 8, 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 Pacific Council office.

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

Additional information

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 CCCT webinar, please contact Dr. Kit Dahl at 503-820-2422; toll free 1-866-806-7204, extension 422.

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Agenda available for the July 2 Ad Hoc Southern Resident Killer Whale Workgroup webinar

Monday, July 1st, 2019

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