Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NPFMC Endorses Steps to Implement Electronic Monitoring

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has endorsed a target date of 2016 for taking the first steps towards operationalizing electronic monitoring on small fixed gear vessels.

While the council acknowledged this to be an ambitious goal, the council intends to work toward having an electronic monitoring alternative in 2016, at least for the vessels for which accommodating an observer onboard is problematic, the council notes in its October newsletter.

The council’s electronic monitoring workgroup reported on their progress during the October council meeting in Anchorage, outlining a framework for the regulatory amendment package to integrate electronic monitoring as part of the observer program, and continuing efforts to refine the 2015 cooperative research plan to be responsive to the decision points and information needs of the analytical framework. The council has asked the electronic monitoring work group to have a complete research plan ready for the scientific and statistical committee to review in February. The work group is expected to report on its progress at the council’s December meeting in Anchorage.
Dan Hull, a commercial fisherman who was elected chairman of the council at the October meeting, also chairs the electronic monitoring work group.

Other members of the work group include Dan Falvey, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association’ Brian Lynch, Petersburg Vessel Owners Association; David Polushkin, K-Bay Fisheries Association; Bernie Burkholder, F/V Northern Endurance; Malcolm Milne, North Pacific Fisheries Association; Jeff Stephan, United Fishermen’s Marketing Association; Morgan Dyas, Saltwater, Inc., Howard McElderberry, Archipelago; Diana Evans and Chris Oliver of the NPFMC staff; Bruce Leaman, International Pacific Halibut Commission; Nicole Kimball, Alaska Department of Fish and Game; and several representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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