Briefing on the Workplan for the Ecosystem and Climate Information Initiative 

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Coastal Pelagic Species Subcommittee of the Scientific and Statistical Committee to hold online meeting March 20-21, 2023

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Notice of availability for HMS FMP Amendment 6 Authorizing Deep-set Buoy Gear

NOAA Fisheries has announced a public comment period, through March 10, 2023, on the Council’s proposed Amendment 6 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS) to authorize deep-set buoy gear (DSBG) as an additional gear type for catching swordfish and other HMS in federal waters off of California and Oregon. 

The Council began reviewing and making recommendations on issuing exempted fishing permits to test DSBG in 2015. NOAA Fisheries review and approval of the FMP amendment culminates a Council process began in 2016. NOAA Fisheries must decide on whether to approve the proposed FMP amendment by April 9, 2023. NOAA Fisheries plans to publish proposed regulations implementing the amendment soon so that they are in place shortly after the FMP amendment review process concludes.

Implementation of Amendment 6 is intended to improve the economic viability of the West Coast swordfish fishery, while minimizing bycatch and protected species interactions. In addition to making DSBG a legal gear under the HMS FMP, it would establish a limited entry permit system in Federal waters of the Southern California Bight. 

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Pre-Assessment Workshop for Copper, Canary, and Black Rockfish to be held online January 31 & February 1, 2023

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2022: EM Regulatory Development

The Council is continuing to examine the EM Program to reduce costs to the industry and ensure the overall program is effective and efficient for all participants when the program goes into effect January 1, 2024

In February 2022 the Council began scoping several issues brought forth by the industry via the Council’s Ad Hoc Groundfish Electronic Monitoring Policy Advisory and Technical Advisory Committees (GEMPAC/TAC). A timeline of recent meetings and the development of the current range of alternatives developed by the GEMPAC and the Council can be found below. The most recent report by the GEMPAC/TAC identifies the regulatory changes that may provide some cost savings to the program. The Council is scheduled to review an analysis of the range of alternatives during March 2023 Council meeting…

Meetings and documentation for the development of the proposed action.

February 23, 2022 GEMPAC/TAC webinar meeting (GEMPAC Report)
April 2022Council Meeting to provide update on progress (Agenda Item F7, Decision Summary)
September 2022Council Meeting to provide update on progress (Agenda Item G3, Decision Summary
Oct 24th & 28th, 2022 GEMPAC/TAC webinar meeting (GEMPAC Report, webinar recordings are posted for each day: 24th and 28th)
November 2022Council Meeting to select Range of Alternatives (Agenda Item H.7, Decision Summary)
Jan 31st & Feb 3rd, 2023GEMPAC/TAC webinar (webinar recordings are posted for each day)