Update from NPFMC Meeting

The Council is moving forward the charter moratorium with final action hopefully at the March/April council meeting. 

 Regarding VMS the Council has indefinitely suspended action at this time.  VMS will likely come back again.  NMFS and CG were told that if they wanted to bring the issue back they would need to better define what specific management problems they are addressing and providing a range of alternatives that include non-VMS options.  Representative Bill Thomas working with Council member Eric Olsen was able to get a letter against VMS signed by 16 AK legislators.

Notice was given to initiate an analysis for 3A management measures to mimic the analysis for 2C.

NMFS was asked about the secretarial review of the 2007 IPHC regulations.  NMFS responded that the commercial catch limits will be approved in time for the start of the 2007 IFQ season.  The Secretary of Commerce is deferring approval of the bag limits for charters for now.  If teh Secretary of Commerce decides to not approve the bag limits, then there will have to be a rationale provided to the IPHC.  NMFS is still looking at alternative measures such as a trophy fish but this would have to be implemented through a rule making an analysis.  If the bag limits are not approved, it does not change the previous approval of the commercial catch limits.

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