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The Pacific Council News

Reporting on the November 2020 Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting

Groundfish 

The Council wants to better understand the impacts of limiting use of fixed gear in the trawl individual fishing quota fishery, and directed analysis to study the question and report back.

NMFS intends to modify its cost recovery regulations so that cost recovery from the at-sea fleet is based on whiting catch only, rather than all species delivered. The Council is considering whether to bring back its Cost Recovery Committee to work with NMFS to evaluate implementation of the trawl catch share cost recovery program.

NMFS reported on seabird bycatch, and the Council made inseason adjustments and whiting set-asides.

A team of U.S. and Canadian scientists is looking at climate-driven recruitment of sablefish, and how climate change might impact stock status.

Finally, the Council adopted length-based assessment methods for spiny dogfish, copper rockfish, quillback rockfish and squarespot rockfish. 
Photo: Black rockfish in Hood Canal. Photo: Jennifer Gilden, PFMC
Pacific Halibut 
The Council adopted final changes to the 2021 Pacific halibut catch sharing plan and annual regulations, and continued to work on the transition of Area 2A Pacific halibut management from the International Pacific Halibut Commission to the Council and National Marine Fisheries Service. The Council also recommended a season structure for the 2021 Area 2A non-tribal directed halibut fishery.
Features, Habitat and Admin
Photo: An estuary near Otis, Oregon. Photo: Dan Myers/Unsplash
Salmon 
The Council set the pre-season management schedule for salmon, adopted a preferred alternative to address the salmon fishery's effects on Southern Resident killer whales, and reviewed data on a new harvest control rule for Southern Oregon/Northern California coho.
Photo: Salmon at Tillicum Village, Port Orchard, WA. Photo: Mario Mendez/IUnsplash
Coastal Pelagic Species 

The Council approved three exempted fishing permit (EFP) proposals for public review; one from the West Coast Pelagic Conservation Group, and two from the California Wetfish Producers Association.

The West Coast Pelagic Conservation Group proposal conducts nearshore surveillance of coastal pelagic species with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. This proposal requests a small amount of sardine for biological sampling.

The first California Wetfish Producers Association proposal is a continuation of its cooperative research with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, for aerial survey work and point set validation. The second proposal is for biological sampling in Southern California. Final recommendations to NMFS for these EFPs are scheduled for April 2021.
Photo: Matthew T Rader/Unsplash
Highly Migratory Species 
The Council and NMFS discussed the qualification critera for the deep-set buoy gear limited entry program; the highly migratory species advisory bodies will meet to discuss some issues that need clarification. The Council weighed in on international Pacific bluefin tuna management and discussed status determination criteria (benchmarks) for highly migratory species. NMFS provided a report on hard caps in the large-mesh drift gillnet fishery. In addition, the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act passed Congress on December 10.
Photo: Kate (@Prongs94)/Unsplash
Upcoming Meetings (all meetings held via webinar)
 
Climate Change Scenario Planning Workshop to identify future challenges that could be faced by West Coast fishing communities. This meeting focuses on Southern California. December 16-17, 2020.
Climate Change Scenario Planning Workshop to identify future challenges that could be faced by West Coast fishing communities. This meeting focuses on Northern California. January 13-14, 2021.
Climate Change Scenario Planning Workshop to identify future challenges that could be faced by West Coast fishing communities. This meeting focuses on Washington. January 13-14, 2021.
Climate Change Scenario Planning Workshop to identify future challenges that could be faced by West Coast fishing communities. This meeting focuses on Oregon. February 2-3, 2021.

Area 2A Pacific Halibut Managers Meeting to prepare for the 2021 International Pacific Halibut Commission’s annual meeting. January 4, 2021. 
Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho Workgroup Meeting to discuss November 2020 Council guidance and develop a progress report for Council consideration in April 2021. January 5, 2021. 
Ad Hoc Ecosystem Workgroup Meeting focusing on updating the Fishery Ecosystem Plan. January 5, 2021.
Groundfish Management Team Online Work Session to prepare for 2021 Council meetings. January 11-15, 2021.
Ad Hoc Electronic Monitoring Policy Advisory Committee and Technical Advisory Committee Meeting to discuss materials and develop recommendations for consideration during the March 2021 Pacific Council meeting. January 20-21, 2021.
Ad Hoc Electronic Monitoring Policy Advisory Committee and Technical Advisory Committee Meeting to discuss materials and develop recommendations for consideration during the March 2021 Pacific Council meeting. February 25, 2021.
Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting and advisory body meetings. The Council is scheduled to meet by webinar on March 2-5 and 8-11. Subcommittees may begin meeting March 2 or before. 
Pacific Fishery Management Council

Marc Gorelnik
Chair

Brad Pettinger
Vice Chair

Chuck Tracy
Executive Director

Mike Burner
Deputy Director
STAFF OFFICERS

Kit Dahl
Highly migratory species, ecosystem management, National Environmental Policy Act

John DeVore
Groundfish

Robin Ehlke
Salmon, halibut

Jennifer Gilden
Communications, habitat, legislation

Kerry Griffin
Coastal pelagic species, marine planning, and essential fish habitat

Todd Phillips
Groundfish

Jim Seger
Fishery economics, exempted fishing permits

Brett Wiedoff
Groundfish, electronic monitoring, highly migratory species
ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

Kim Ambert
Administrative staff

Patricia Crouse
Administrative officer

Renee Dorval
Meeting planning, hotels

Amy L’Manian
Administrative staff

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Kris Kleinschmidt
Information technology

Sandra Krause
Information technology
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The Pacific Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils in the U.S. and recommends commercial & recreational fishery management measures for Federal waters off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. All Council recommendations are subject to approval by National Marine Fisheries Service. The Council has five public meetings a year.



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