At this meeting, NMFS informed the Council that it would need to revisit its proposed Area 2C/3A halibut catch sharing plan (CSP), citing policy and technical issues which compromise their ability to proceed to a final rule. Specifically, NMFS requested additional Council input on the following three concerns, along with other technical issues that may be identified by NMFS after further review:
(1) Evaluation of the management implications at lower levels of abundance;
(2) Economic impacts of the CSP under all potential combined catch
(3) Methods for calculating the average weight for guided angler fish (GAF) that may be leased from commercial IFQ operators, and the specific means for tracking and reporting GAF.
NMFS also strongly encouraged the Council to schedule time at the December 2011 Council meeting to provide guidance to the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) for actions on the specific allocation and management measures appropriate for the charter halibut fisheries in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska for 2012. The IPHC meets in Anchorage in January 2012 to set fishing levels and management measures for halibut along the Pacific Coast.
The Council also requested that NMFS provide additional detail in December regarding perceived deficiencies in the CSP, so that the Council can discuss an appropriate course of action, including the process and timing to address the concerns identified by NMFS. For December 2011, the Council also had previously scheduled 1) a review of the ADF&G estimates of sport halibut data for 2010; 2) review committee recommendations to consider alternative management measures under Tier 1 of the charter halibut CSP.