Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Halibut, Crab, Groundfish on Tap for October NPFMC Meeting

Final action on the Pacific halibut catch sharing plan, a report of the groundfish plan team, and a number of issues related to crab management in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands are on tap for the October meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Anchorage.

The council has set aside 12 hours each to discuss halibut and crab issues, plus six hours for various groundfish issues.

A council update on the status of the halibut catch sharing plan, which is online at, outlines the five options for allocating Pacific halibut between the commercial individual fishing quota sector and charter sector, based on a combined catch limit that would be set annually by the International Pacific Halibut Commission in Area 2C and Area 3A.

In the area of crab management, the council will do an initial review of Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands crab right of first refusal, as well as an initial review of active participation requirements for this fishery. Also on tap are a discussion paper on crab cooperative provisions for crew, a work group report on binding arbitration, a discussion paper on binding arbitration issues, a review of forms and draft regulations for crab economic data reporting, and discussion on revised alternatives for the tanner crab-rebuilding plan.

The council has also set aside six hours for groundfish issues, including feedback on goals and objectives on Central Gulf of Alaska trawl prohibited species catch tools, an expanded discussion paper on vessel monitoring system use and requirements, and a review of the Bering sea habitat conservation area boundary. Also on the agenda is a discussion paper on northern Bering Sea research.

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