New management measures for salmon fishing in Cook Inlet EEZ considered

A Joint Protocol Committee with representatives of the Alaska Board of Fisheries and North Pacific Fishery Management Council will meet virtually Thursday, Nov. 5, to discuss alternatives for management of salmon fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cook Inlet.

The effort to review and discuss areas of mutual interest comes in advance of the council’s plan to make a final decision on the matter during its December meeting.

In 2012 the council revised the fishery management plan for the Cook Inlet EEZ, which extends to 200 nautical miles offshore, to comply with Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Management Act requirements that include annual catch limits and accountability measures. The revision also was to reflect the council’s policy with regard to the state management authority for commercial and sport fisheries for salmon in the EEZ.

Then in the wake of a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, the council is considering how to revise the fishery management plan to manage the commercial salmon fishery in the Cook Inlet EEZ that was removed from federal management with the 2012 revisions to the fishery management plan.

The council is considering management measures that comply with Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements for the Cook Inlet commercial salmon fisher in the EEZ, including annual catch limits and accountability measures. Alternatives include federal management with or without delegation of said management to the state.

The Joint Protocol Committee will hear oral public testimony and also consider letters of public comment submitted electronically to meetings.npfmc.org/Meeting?Details/1684 submitted by 5 p.m. Alaska time Wednesday, Nov. 4.

Join the web conference at npfmc.adobeconnect.com/jointprotocol from 1-5 p.m. Alaska time.

For further information contact Dave Witherell, executive director of the council, at david.witherell@noaa.gov. Technical support is available at npfmc.admin@noaa.gov.