Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Aleutians Pacific Cod on NPFMC Agenda

Final action is slated for the Oct. 5-13 meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Anchorage on Aleutian Island Pacific cod catcher vessel fishery and shore plant delivery requirements.

A council document prepared for the October meeting analyzes proposed management measures that would prioritize a portion of that P-cod total allowable catch for access by catcher vessels and require that it be delivered to shoreside plants in the Aleutian Islands, with some constraints on the amount and dates by which the provisions would be removed.

To accommodate the Aleutian Island P-cod fishery for trawl catcher vessels, the proposed action would also limit harvest of the A season trawl catcher vessel sector’s Bering Sea Pacific cod allocation so as not to allow the sector to harvest its entire A season allocations in the Bering Sea prior to the start of the A season Aleutian Island Pacific cod fishery.

The document, which is available online at the council website,, notes that for several years the council has requested information to help determine the need for community protections in the Aleutians in response to implementation of rationalization programs for various fisheries. Rationalization has resulted in excess processing capacity that has been used in the Aleutian Island P-cod fishery, the document noted.

These specific rationalization programs include the American Fisheries Act, Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands crab rationalization, and BSAI Amendment 80.

The programs offer benefits to processing vessels and afford opportunity for consolidation, thereby freeing some processing capacity to target the non-rationalized BSAI P-cod fishery.

At the same time, the council delayed action on Aleutian Island community protections, in order to anticipate the effects of several dynamic factors in that cod fishery, not the least of which has been the anticipation of a BSAI total allowable catch split and Steller sea lion protection measures.

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