Friday, February 24, 2012
Issues on the agenda include the status of the salmon bycatch, such as Bering Sea chinook, Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Chinook and Bering Sea chum salmon.
Another issue up for discussion is revising the Pacific cod (P.cod) "A" season opening date in the GOA. This will be another opportunity for fishermen to testify in front of both the Board and the Council about changing P.cod season dates. Other topics to be discussed include the status of the GOA Pacific cod reverse parallel jig fishery and the status of GOA halibut bycatch.
For more information, click on the title of this blog posting or copy and paste the website address below into your browser:
Established by the international convention in 1923, the IPHC oversees research and management of halibut in U.S. and Canadian convention waters.
U.S. representation consists of three Commissioners appointed by the President of the United States to represent the interests of the United States and all of its stakeholders in the Pacific halibut fishery.
The three U.S. Commissioners are described in the Northern Pacific Halibut Act as:
(1) One shall be an official of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;
(2) Two shall be knowledgeable or experienced concerning the Northern Pacific halibut fishery; of these two, one shall be a resident of Alaska and the other shall be a non-resident of Alaska.
Of the three Commissioners, one shall be a voting member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
U.S. Commissioners are appointed for a term not to exceed 2 years, but are eligible for reappointment.
Public solicitation for nominations was published in the Federal Register and can be found at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-02-16/pdf/2012-3697.pdf (or click on the title of this blog post).
Nominations are due by March 19, 2012
This action is necessary to ensure that the interests of the United States and its stakeholders in the Pacific halibut fishery are adequately represented. The intended effect of this action is to improve transparency and stakeholder participation in the nomination process.
Nominations for U.S. Commissioners to the IPHC should be made in writing to:
Patrick E. Moran
Office of International Affairs
National Marine Fisheries Service
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Nominations can also be sent via fax to 301-713-2313 or by email:
For more information, contact Patrick E. Moran at (301) 427-8370.
NPFMC Conducts Teleconference Today on Possible Measures Limiting Chum Bycatch in Bering Sea Pollock Fishery
If you plan to ask a question, please RSVP via email (Steve.MacLean@noaa.gov) or call the Council (907-271-2809) with your name, location and question. Due to the possibility for a large number of participants, the RSVP list will have first priority for questions. The Council is asking each participant to limit their question to two minutes.
If you'd like to take part in the teleconference, please call:
(877) 214-2906, code 1214A short presentation will be given at the beginning of the call. If you wish to follow, the presentation, click on title of this post for the link.
For more information, click on the link below:
Monday, February 13, 2012
ADF&G Announces Change to 2012 South Alaska Peninsula Area State-Waters Pacific Cod Pot Gear Season Opening
The state-waters season opening for pot vessels will be delayed for 24-hours if the National Weather Service (NWS) 48-hour marine weather forecast for Area 155 issued at 4 a.m. on the scheduled opening day contains gale force wind warnings (35 knots or higher). If the pot gear season opening is delayed and the following day’s 4 a.m. 48-hour forecast again contains gale warnings, the season opening will be delayed an additional 24 hours. Season opening delays may continue on a rolling 24-hour basis for up to seven days beyond the initial opening date. After seven days, the pot season will open regardless of the NWS marine weather forecast for Area 155.
According to ADF&G, the 2012 South Alaska Peninsula state-waters Pacific cod (Pcod) season for vessels using pot gear will open at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 unless delayed by weather. Pot vessels are restricted to operating no more than 60 pots. Buoy tags are required for all pot gear. Open and unbaited pots may be stored in waters less than 25 fathoms deep prior to the start of the state-waters pot season. Pot gear may not be baited or placed into waters deeper than 25 fathoms until the pot season opens on March 7th. The 2012 South Alaska Peninsula state-waters Pcod guideline harvest level (GHL) is 15.45 million pounds. Pot vessels are allocated 85 percent of the GHL or 13.13 million pounds.
The state-waters Pcod season for vessels using jig gear will open 48 hours after closure of the Western Gulf of Alaska (WGOA) federal/parallel jig gear A-season, unless delayed by weather. However, if the WGOA federal/parallel jig A-season has not closed by March 15th, ADF&G may close the WGOA parallel (0 - 3 nautical miles from shore) jig season and open the South Alaska Peninsula state-waters jig season based on in-season assessment of effort, harvest rate or remaining federal/parallel jig quota. Jig vessels may not operate more than 5 mechanical jig machines with no more than 30 hooks per line. Jig vessels are allocated 15 percent of the total GHL or 2.32 million pounds.
All vessels participating in the South Alaska state-waters Pcod season may not exceed 58 feet in overall length. Vessel operators must obtain a miscellaneous finfish interim-use permit card from the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission and an exclusive state-waters vessel registration from ADF&G prior to participating in the state-waters season. Registration and buoy tags are available at ADF&G offices in Kodiak and Dutch Harbor, Trident Seafoods in Sand Point and Peter Pan Seafoods in King Cove.
The state-waters season openings for pot or jig gear will be delayed for 24-hours if the National Weather Service (NWS) 48-hour marine weather forecast for Area 155 issued at 4 a.m. on the scheduled opening day for the pot season or the scheduled opening day for the jig season contains gale force wind warnings (35 knots or higher). If a season opening is delayed and the following day’s 4 a.m. 48-hour forecast again contains gale warnings, the season opening will be delayed an additional 24 hours. Season opening delays may continue on a rolling 24-hour basis for up to seven days beyond the initial opening date. After seven days, the pot or jig seasons will open regardless of the NWS marine weather forecast for Area 155.
Vessel operators using pot gear during the South Alaska Peninsula Area state-waters Pcod season must report the following information to ADF&G daily:
1) Fishing location
2) Number of pot lifts for the previous 24-hour reporting period
3) Pounds of Pcod retained for the previous 24-hour fishing period
Reports will be taken by ADF&G between 9 and 10 a.m. each day by satellite dispatch (7894). Vessel operators may also report by phone (907-486-1840) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Vessels without satellite service may relay reports through other fishing vessels or local processors. Encrypted code sheets will be issued to vessels relaying catch information to maintain confidentiality. Vessel operators interested in making alternative reporting arrangements are encouraged to contact ADF&G prior to the season opening.
For more information, contact the Alaska Department of Fish & Game in Kodiak at (907) 486-1840.
Friday, February 3, 2012
The NPFMC is moving swiftly through the agenda items during the meeting in Seattle this week, while taking a full 8 hours on the halibut PSC agenda item. The Council Motion on this agenda item is to move the document forward and to release the EA/RIR/IRFA for public review while incorporating some suggestions from the SSC. Halibut bycatch is a contentious issue and the Council avoided taking sides on differing recommendations from the AP, who were split on this issue. The AP motion, passing 11-8, recommended not releasing the EA/RIR/IRFA for public review while adding other options. The AP minority of 8 motion, to move the document forward with the addition of an option of 20% to the list of 5%, 10% and 15%, failed and the Council did not add a 20% option.
Discussions at the AP about bycatch and other subjects, spur comments by industry on the need to move ahead with catch share plans and GOA groundfish rationalization. AP member Weiss voiced an objection to the continued assertions, claiming many AEB fishermen he has talked with are generally opposed to gulf rationalization.
The Council began work on crab issues on Friday, beginning with the Pribilof Island blue king crab rebuilding plan. The council motion adopts Option 2B as the PPA. 2B would expand the Pribilof Island Habitat Conservation Zone closure to trawl and pcod pot fishing in the area. The motion also adopts most of the AP suggested additions. Council member Benson tried to strike the adoption of Option 2B as a PPA with a failed amendment. The Council also heard a report Friday morning on the BSAI Tanner Crab Rebuilding Plan, but took no action. Friday afternoon the Council began considering final action on the BSAI crab EDR revisions.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
All pots within the Eastern Section of the South Peninsula District must be unbaited with doors open at the time of the closure. Unbaited pots may be stored in the closed area in waters deeper than 25 fathoms for seven days. After seven days, all pots remaining in the closed area must be removed or placed in waters less than 25 fathoms deep.