The NPFMC will be taking up several issues of interest to SEAFA Members. Approximately Wednesday afternoon through Friday the NPFMC will be taking final action (again) on a Halibut Catch Share Plan (CSP) between commercial and charter industries. There are options on the table to reallocate to the charter sector up to 5% above the allocation set in the 2008 CSP.
Also on the table will be a review of the 2013 Annual Deployment Plan for the restructured observer program. For vessels in the halibut and sablefish IFQ fishery which was previously unobserved between 40 and 57.5 feet in length they are proposing a vessel selection pool where you will be selected for 3 months at a time (quarterly) to be observed for all federal fishing trips. Electronic Monitoring (EM) will be a voluntary basis only (you might be selected for human observation also) to try and develop a program to be integrated in the future. The current objective of the voluntary EM program “in 2013 is to evaluate the efficacy of EM to identify species and the disposition of those species coverd by the full retention requirements for Demersal Shelf Rockfihs in the hook and line fishery operating out of Southeast Alaska. Only vessels with a history of fishing from the ports of Homer, Petersburg, Sitka and if funding permits Kodiak.
There will be a review of a discussion paper on Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS). There is a strong push by Coast Guard and enforcement to enact a requirement that all commercial fishing vessels be required to have VMS in federal fisheries.