Aquaculture blog

Sam Rauch, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs of NOAA Fisheries, Visits Council on Anniversary of MSA

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Sam Rauch, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs of NOAA Fisheries, visited the Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting today to observe the 40th anniversary of Federal fisheries management under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and to discuss ongoing programs of National Marine Fisheries Service. The Magnuson-Stevens Act, or MSA, is the foundation of fisheries management in the United States, and was enacted on April 13, 1976. The MSA created eight Regional Fishery Management Councils that support transparent regional management of the nation’s fisheries.

“The strength of the MSA is that it created the Council system, which has worked extraordinarily well in terms of making sure that decisions are transparent, are science-based and have stakeholder input,” said Rauch. “It allows us to make deliberative decisions together, as opposed to in a black box. It is what has built the success that we have enjoyed. In the last few years we have consistently had either record or near-record landings, nationally. At the same time, we have also made significant strides in reducing the number of stocks that are on the overfished list, and that are subject to overfishing. Those continue to be at either all-time lows or near all-time lows. [The status of fish stocks] is something the Councils should be proud of, because this is where the hard work happens to make all that possible. The regional Councils are the bodies that make all the tough decisions.”

Rauch went on to discuss NOAA’s draft National Bycatch Reduction Strategy. The proposal continues the nation’s momentum on reducing bycatch—when fishermen catch fish they don’t want, can’t keep, or aren’t allowed to keep. Bycatch can also occur when fishing gear harms or kills marine mammals, seabirds, corals, sponges, sea turtles, or protected fish. NOAA Fisheries is accepting public comment on the draft strategy through June 3.[1]

Rauch also discussed the President’s task force on illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing. A new NOAA program beginning this fall will track the origin of certain at-risk stocks imported into the United States, leading to a safer and higher quality seafood product for consumers.

Recently, a peer-reviewed study determined that the U.S. fisheries management system meets U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization standards for sustainable fishing. “U.S. fisheries are the best managed in the world,” said Rauch.

[1] http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/fisheries_eco/bycatch/strategy.html

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Pacific Council Office Remains Open; Scheduled Meetings Will Take Place

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

The Pacific Fishery Management Council office will remain open during the Federal government shutdown, and scheduled meetings will continue to take place.  Please call our main number of 503-820-2280 or 866-806-7204 with any questions.

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Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries 3 Conference (May 7-9, 2013)

Monday, July 30th, 2012

The third Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries conference will be held May 7-9, 2013 in Washington, D.C., with a welcome reception on the evening of May 6. The conference is convened by the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils and hosted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

This conference follows up on the highly successful Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries conferences held in 2003 and 2005. Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries 3 will focus on how concepts, policies, and practice of fishery sustainability can be advanced to a higher level. Sessions will be of interest to members of the public, fishery participants, environmental advocates, fishery scientists and managers, policymakers, legislators, and journalists.

The discussion will address Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization issues, as well as adjustments to current management that do not require legislation to implement. The conference will provide a forum for information exchange and an opportunity to hear a wide range of perspectives on the sustainability of fish stocks and ecosystem functions, and the fishing communities that depend on them.

See the Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries 3 website for details.

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Ecosystem Plan Development Team to Hold a Work Session via Conference Call on the Schedule and Plans for Developing a Fishery Ecosystem Plan

Monday, August 29th, 2011

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting via conference call of the Ecosystem Plan Development Team (EPDT) that is open to the public. Please note, this is not a public hearing; it is a work session for the primary purpose of drafting a report and recommendations to the Council on the Schedule and Plans for Developing a Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP).

The EPDT will meet on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 and Thursday, September 22, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day, or when business for each day is completed.

Public listening stations will be available at the following locations:

Pacific Fishery Management Council
Small Conference Room
7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101
Portland, Oregon  97220
503-820-2280
OR toll free at 866-806-7204
Driving Directions

National Marine Fisheries Service
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Conference Room
110 Shaffer Road
Santa Cruz, CA  95060
831-420-3900

Driving Directions

The EPDT will primarily address Council requests from the June 2011 Council meeting where the Council approved a draft purpose and need statement and moved to develop an ecosystem plan that is primarily advisory in nature with the potential for expanding the plan to include regulatory authority in the future.  The Council recommended continued management of fisheries through existing fishery management plans (FMPs), including potential future management measures for forage fish species.  The Council also tasked the EPDT with developing a list of West Coast species that are not currently included in any FMP, that are not under State management, are not listed under the Endangered Species Act, or are species that could be the target of future fishery exploitation.

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, please contact Mr. Mike Burner at (503) 820-2280 ext. 414.

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Summer Council Newsletter Now Online

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

The summer issue of the Pacific Council News is now online here.

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NOAA's Draft National Aquaculture Policies Available for Public Comment

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

The Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are seeking public comment on complementary draft national aquaculture policies that support sustainable marine aquaculture in the United States. The intent of the policies is to guide Commerce and NOAA’s actions and decisions on aquaculture and to provide a national approach for supporting sustainable aquaculture. The NOAA Aquaculture Program will host national call-in briefings on the policies for the public. Please visit NOAA’s Aquaculture website for the dates and times of the briefings and/or to download the documents. The deadline for comments on both policies is April 11, 2011.

You may also visit the Council’s Federal Register Notice webpage to view the February 16, 2011 Federal Register Notice.

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NOAA’s Draft National Aquaculture Policies Available for Public Comment

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

The Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are seeking public comment on complementary draft national aquaculture policies that support sustainable marine aquaculture in the United States. The intent of the policies is to guide Commerce and NOAA’s actions and decisions on aquaculture and to provide a national approach for supporting sustainable aquaculture. The NOAA Aquaculture Program will host national call-in briefings on the policies for the public. Please visit NOAA’s Aquaculture website for the dates and times of the briefings and/or to download the documents. The deadline for comments on both policies is April 11, 2011.

You may also visit the Council’s Federal Register Notice webpage to view the February 16, 2011 Federal Register Notice.

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