Chinook PSC limits up for review in April

A second initial review of Gulf of Alaska catcher vessel Chinook prohibited species catch limit adjustments is on tap for the April 2-10 meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

The council session will be at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel.

Public comments on the overall issue are being solicited by the council for this and several other issues.  To comment on Gulf catcher vessel Chinooks PSC limit adjustments long on to www.npfmc.org , select and click on the agenda item under C6, then click on public comments on the form that appears on the screen to comment.

During its February meeting in Seattle the council did consider an initial review analysis of alternatives to modify the Gulf non-Pollock trawl catcher vessel sector’s prohibited species catch limit for kings. The council established a purpose and need statement affirming the need to balance the optimum yield objective with bycatch minimization and need to do so in light of the best available information on variability in annually; Chinook PSC levels and the groundfish fisheries themselves.

The council noted that new information became available since the council first took action to set PSC limits for those sectors in 2013. That information includes expanded observer coverage on IN 2013. That information includes expanded observer coverage on smaller trawl catcher vessels, less than 60 feet in length and continues genetic sampling efforts to determine the region of origin for Gulf prohibited species, which went well.

Alternatives under consideration include a No Action alternatives,

Also under consideration are increased limits for the non-Pollock trawl CV sectors, the Rockfish program and non-rockfish program) and additional flexibility under the existing limits in the form of limited one-year rollovers of unused Chinook PSC.

The council requested a second initial review draft to receive additional information about the status of Chinook salmon stocks and commercial and non-commercial salmon fisheries that might be affected by prohibited species catch regulations in the groundfish trawl fishery. The council also noted that multiple Chinook stocks from regions whose presence has been detected in trawl PSC samples have been experiencing poor returns.

More meeting information, including all agenda items, is online at http://legistar2.granicus.com/npfmc/meetings/2018/4/977_A_North_Pacific_Council_18-04-02_Meeting_Agenda.pdf