The NPFMC today (April 1st) moved forward after presentations and public testimony the following motion:
Develop Alternative 3 as the preliminary preferred alternative for an initial review draft FMP (Fishery Management Plan) and continue to expand discussion of FMP provisions the Council could consider changing or adding, as directed below.
Preliminary Preferred Alternative
Alternative 3: Modify the FMP to exclude the three historical fishing areas in the West Area (Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound, AK Pennisula)
In areas where the Salmon FMP applies, managment would be deferred to the State of Alaska.
Directions for Salmon FMP Additions
Fishery Impact Statement: Use existing documents to the extent possible to describe the fisheries occurring under the FMP.
ByCatch Management: Include a management objective to minimize bycatch and minimize mortality of unavoidable bycatch in the directed salmon fisheries, but defer bycatch management in the directed salmon fisheries to the State of Alaska. Document existing monitoring and management measures for initial review analysis.
Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures:
- Use the NS 1 Guidelines exception for stocks managed under an international fishery agreement with regard to ACL/AM requirements for Chinook salmon harvests under the Pacific Salmon Treaty (labeled Option 1 in analysis).
- Use the State’s salmon management program as an alternative approach to satisfy MSA requirements (labeled Option 2 in analysis)
Directors for Amending Existing Salmon FMP Provisions
Sport Fishery: Remove the Sport fishery in the West Area from the FMP.
- Prevent commercial directed fishing of salmon in the EEZ outside of the historical fishing areas.
- Manage stocks harvested in directed fisheries as a unit throughout their range; manage interrelated stocks as a unit or in close coordination.
- Retain management objectives for the directed commercial fisheries under the FMP in the East Area for future discussion (evaluate them against current state management objectives and the Pacific Salmon Treaty)
Salmon Plan Team: For fisheries remaining under the FMP, explore review provided under the State of Alaska salmon management program and Pacific Salmon Treaty processes as alternative peer review processes for status of the stocks and fishery information.
Federal Salmon Limited Entry Permits: Remove federal permitting provision.
Process for Review and Appeal: More fully describe the process for the public to appeal and request Secretarial review of state regulations and inseason actions.