Groundfish blog

Pacific Ocean Perch Rebuilt

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

An important West Coast groundfish stock that was formerly overfished has now been rebuilt.

Pacific ocean perch, which is managed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS or NOAA Fisheries), has constrained the West Coast trawl fishery for decades.  Pacific ocean perch has been overfished since the mid-1960s when foreign fleets targeted groundfish stocks, in particular Pacific ocean perch, off the U.S. West Coast.  The mandates of the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary law governing U.S. fisheries management, eventually ended foreign fishing within 200 miles of the U.S. coast.  The first Federal trip limits to discourage targeting and to conserve a U.S. West Coast groundfish stock were implemented for Pacific ocean perch in 1979 by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and NMFS.  Rebuilding plans for Pacific ocean perch were adopted in 2000 and 2003.

Managing groundfish fisheries under rebuilding plans has been an immense challenge for the Pacific Council and the NMFS. These plans required sharp reductions in commercial and recreational fisheries targeting groundfish, and included widespread fishing closures through the establishment of Rockfish Conservation Areas off the West Coast and other measures.

“We are pleased to see that our management strategies have been successful in rebuilding this important groundfish stock, and want to acknowledge the industries’ cooperation and sacrifice in this effort,” said Council Chair Phil Anderson.  “We also want to recognize NMFS for committing the resources to monitor and research groundfish stocks to improve the science used to sustainably manage these stocks.”

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. “It is remarkable that the rebuilding of Pacific ocean perch was accomplished 34 years ahead of schedule,” said Barry Thom, Regional Administrator of NMFS’ West Coast Region.  “It is the strong partnership between fishery managers and industry and the strong commitment to catch limitations that allowed it to happen.”

These strategies have been used to successfully rebuild eight groundfish stocks, including Pacific whiting, bocaccio, darkblotched rockfish, lingcod, canary rockfish, widow rockfish, petrale sole, and Pacific ocean perch.  Canary rockfish was declared rebuilt in 2015 and earlier this year, bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish were also declared rebuilt. These successes reflect the support and sacrifice of West Coast ports and fishermen who recognized the difficult actions and fishing cutbacks necessary to restore the stocks.

Only two overfished stocks—cowcod and yelloweye rockfish—continue to be managed under rebuilding plans.  Both have shown dramatic rebuilding progress, with cowcod projected to be rebuilt by 2019 and yelloweye rockfish as soon as 2027.  Improvements in the status of these two stocks, coupled with the successful rebuilding of the other eight groundfish stocks declared overfished in the past, will lead to increased fishing opportunities beginning in 2019.  The Pacific Council is scheduled to make their final decisions on 2019 and 2020 groundfish fisheries next June at their meeting in Spokane, Washington.

Process

The Pacific ocean perch assessment was developed by NMFS scientists at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and was reviewed in the Council’s stock assessment review process with a final endorsement by the Council Scientific and Statistical Committee.  On December 11, NMFS formally determined the stock’s status as rebuilt.

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.  Altogether, the Pacific Council manages more than 100 species of groundfish. The Pacific Council recommends management measures for groundfish and other ocean fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

On the Web:

Pacific ocean perch stock assessment

NOAA Fisheries article on rockfish rebuilding

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Pacific Whiting Treaty Joint Technical Committee Meeting

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

The Pacific Whiting Treaty Joint Technical Committee (JTC) will meet on Thursday, December 14, 2017.  This meeting will be held in person, with a webinar participation option.

Draft agenda items include:  update on 2017 acoustic survey; a report from the U.S. Advisory Panel on the 2017 fishery; a report from the Canadian Advisory panel on the 2017 fishery; a report from the JTC on the 2017 fishery data; expectations for the 2018 stock assessment, and a status update and future directions for Management Strategy Evaluation.

Meeting Time:

Thursday, December 14:  9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Meeting Location:

Pacific Biological Station
Fisheries & Oceans Canada
3190 Hammond Bay Road
Nanaimo, BC
Canada

Webinar Option:

Join the Meeting (Link to WebEx Connection)
Meeting Number: 550 423 945
Meeting Password: HakeJTC
Phone: 1-877-413-4790 (toll-free) or 1-613-960-7514.
Phone Conference Code: 146 149 1

For further information, please contact Mr. Ian Taylor, National Marine Fisheries Service West Coast Region (NMFS WCR) at 206-861-7603; Mr. Frank Lockhart, NMFS WCR at 206-526-6142 or visit their Pacific Whiting Treaty webpage.

 

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November 2017 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, November 27th, 2017

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met November 15-20, 2017 in Costa Mesa, California. The November 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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PRELIMINARY NOVEMBER DRAFT MOTIONS IN WRITING

Wednesday, November 15th, 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 November 2017 Briefing Book

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Quick link to the November 2017 Briefing Book:

November 2017 Briefing Book

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Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review Webinar to be Held Friday, December 1

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Participants in the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Pacific Council’s) 2017 groundfish stock assessment process will hold a meeting via webinar to review and evaluate the 2017 stock assessment review (STAR) process.  The webinar will be held on Friday, December 1, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) or until business for the day has been completed.  The goal of the webinar is to solicit process improvements to recommend for future groundfish stock assessments and STAR panel reviews.  Process recommendations will be provided to the Pacific Council at their March 2018 meeting in Rohnert Park, California.

The purpose of the Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review webinar meeting is to review the 2017 groundfish stock assessment and STAR Panel process and recommend process improvements for future groundfish stock assessments and STAR Panel meetings.

No management actions will be decided by the participants attending the Groundfish Stock Assessment Process Review webinar.  The webinar participants’ role will be the development of recommendations and a report for consideration by the Pacific Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee, other Pacific Council advisors, and the Pacific Council at the March 2018 meeting in Rohnert Park, California.

Webinar Agenda

To Attend the Webinar

  1. Join the meeting by visiting this link:
    https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar/join-webinar
  2. Enter the Webinar ID: 838-141-027
  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) 930-5321 (not a toll-free number)
  5. Enter the Attendee phone audio access code 248-304-493
  6. Enter your audio phone PIN (shown after joining the webinar)

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 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 Mr. John DeVore at 503-820-2413; toll-free 1-866-806-7204.

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November 2017 Council Meeting Fast Facts

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

The November 14-20, 2017 Council Meeting “Fast Facts” are available. Fast Facts are answers to FAQs that can help you get oriented for the upcoming meeting (transportation, internet code, hotel map).

If you have additional questions regarding the November 14-20, 2017 Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting:

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November 2017 Briefing Book Available Online

Friday, October 27th, 2017

The Briefing Book for the November 14-20, 2017 Council meeting has been posted to the Council’s website on the “November 2017 Briefing Book” webpage. The Briefing Book contains the meeting agenda, “situation summaries” (brief summaries that provide background for each agenda item), reports and materials for each agenda item, and written public comment. Advisory body and committee agendas and memos are also available.

For further information:

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Notice of Availability: Pacific Council News, Fall 2017

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Notice of Availability

The Fall 2017 issue of Pacific Council News is now available on the Council’s website. This newsletter reports mainly on decisions made at the September 2017 Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting.

You may view past issues of the Council’s newsletter by visiting the Council’s Newsletter Archives webpage.

If you have comments, questions, or suggestions regarding Pacific Council News, please direct them to: Ms. Jennifer Gilden, Information and Communications Specialist at (503) 820-2280 ext. 418 or toll free: 1-866-806-7204.

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Groundfish Management Team to Hold Webinar Tuesday, November 7

Monday, October 16th, 2017

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Pacific Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a webinar that is open to the public.  The GMT webinar will be held Tuesday, November 7, 2017 from 1 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. The webinar end time is an estimate, the meeting will adjourn when business for the day is completed.

The primary purpose of the GMT webinar is to prepare for the November 2017 Pacific Council meeting.  A detailed agenda for the webinar will be available on the Pacific Council’s website prior to the meeting.  The GMT may also address other assignments relating to groundfish management.  No management actions will be decided by the GMT.  The GMT’s task will be to develop recommendations for consideration by the Pacific Council at its November 2017 meeting.

Webinar Agenda

To Attend the Webinar

  1. Join the webinar by visiting this link:
    https://www.gotomeeting.com/online/webinar/join-webinar
  2. Enter the Webinar ID: 921-983-403
  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) 930-5321
  5. Enter the Attendee phone audio access code:  974-117-482
  6. Then enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar)

Technical Information and 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 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 GMT 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 503-280-2411 at least ten days prior to the meeting date.

If you have additional questions regarding the webinar, please contact Ms. Kelly Ames at 503-820-2426; toll-free 1-866-806-7204.

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