Changed schedule coming for NPFMC’s Portland meeting

A federal government shutdown over the Trump administration’s demand that Congress pay for a southern border wall will force a considerable change of schedule if it continues for the February meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Portland, OR.

The federal fisheries regional management council in Anchorage said in an announcement on Jan. 11 that while council staff is on its normal work schedule that most of its federal partners were furloughed because of the shutdown. Those agencies include the National Marine Fisheries Service for the Alaska region and the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Washington state, plus the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Many NMFS scientists and fishery management specialist are key contributors to the council’s analyses, plan teams and committees. For this reason the council is rescheduling or modifying the agendas for several meetings where NMFS representatives were expected to provide pivotal presentations, reports and/or analyses.

The council is also planning to shorten the Feb, 4-10 meeting at the Benson Hotel in Portland, but will still including meetings of its scientific and statistical committee and advisory panel.

The council has also postponed several agenda items that were posted earlier at www.npfmc.org for a future meeting. Check the council website for updates.

Council staff note that the council may not be able to take final action on any agenda items during the Portland meeting unless the meeting has been announced in the Federal Register at least 14 days before the council takes a final action. The council could make a preliminary final determination on these issues and then take action at a later meeting.