NPFMC takes Action on Halibut CSP

Council Motion on Charter Halibut Catch Sharing Plan
April 2, 2012
The Council moves to amend its previous action on the charter halibut catch sharing plan (CSP) . This becomes a new preliminary preferred alternative:
The Council adopts the March 27, 2012, recommendation of the Halibut Charter Management Implementation Committee and the Advisory Panel to adopt the “2012 model” for determining annual charter halibut management measures under the CSP and removing the current matrix of management measures that are included in the current proposed rule. With this change, the Council also removes the target range around the allocations of +/- 3.5%.
The Council also adopts the unanimous recommendation of the Halibut Charter Management Implementation Committee and the Advisory Panel to use ADF&G logbboks as the primary data collection method. The Council recommends using an adjustment factor based on the five-year average (2006-2010) of the difference between the harvest estimates provided by the logbooks and the SWHS, with the adjustment factor reduced by the amount of harvest attributed to skipper and crew. The Council’s understanding is that applying this adjustment factor would result in the following changes to the CSP allocations:
Area 3A adjustment factor =15.4%
Area 3A current CSP allocation in Tier 1 = 15.4%
Adjusted CSP allocation = (15.4% * 15.4%) + 15.4% = 178%
Area 3A current CSP allocation in Tiers 2 through 4 = 14.0%
Adjusted CSP allocation = (14% * 15.4%) + 14% = 16.2%
Area 2C adjustment factor = 5.6%
Area 2C Current CSP allocation in Tier 1 = 17.3%
Adjusted CSP allocation = (17.3% * 5.6%) + 17.3% = 18.3%
Area 2C current CSP allocation in Tiers 2 through 4 – 15.1%
Adjusted CSP allocation = (15.1% * 5.6%) = 15.1% = 15.9%
The Council recommends revisions to the GAF program as follows:
• This revision would issue GAF in numbers of fish. Conversions of IFQ pounds to numbers of fish would be based on the average weight of GAF from the previous year.
• In the first year of the GAF program, the GAF weight to number of fish conversion factor is based on the previous year’s data or most recent year without maximum size limit in effect.
• Define leasing limitation from one IFQ share holder from 10% or 1500 pound whichever is greater , to 10% of IFQ holdings in 2C, and to 15% or 1500 pounds in 3A, whichever is greater
• Include a requirement for angler to mark GAF by removing the tips of the upper and lower lobes of the tail and GAF holder to report the length of retained GAF halibut to NMFS through the NMFS approved electronic reporting system.
• A complete review within five years of the start of the GAF program, taking into account the economic effects of both sectors.

The Council recommends consideration of a letter to the IPHC supporting the idea of separate BAWM accountability between the halibut sectors, and revising the preamble to the rule describing the method that the Council would expect to be used by the IPHC in setting catch limits.
The Council requests that the analysis be revised to incorporate the changes to the preliminary preferred alternative described above and include analysis of the following options for consideration to revise the charter allocations at lower levels of abundance:
Option 1: Area 2C
At a combined catch limit of <5 mlbs, establish the CSP allocation at the upper end of the original range proposed for the CSP (20.8%); at a combined catch limit of ≥5 – , <9mlbs, establish the CSP at the allocation at the upper end of the original range proposed for the CSP (18.6%).
At combined catch limits of≤9 mlbs, maintain the original target CSP allocation of 15.1%.
Option 2: Area 3A
At a combined catch limit of <10 mlbs, establish the CSP allocation at the upper end of the original range proposed for the CSP (18.9%); at a combined catch limit of ≥10 – , <20mlbs, establish the CSP at the allocation at the upper end of the original range proposed for the CSP (17.5%).
At combined catch limits of≤20 mlbs, maintain the original target CSP allocation of 14.0%.
Note: Under the 2012 model, the +/- 3.5% range around the allocation would be removed, and the Council would be annually recommending management measures that minimize the difference between the projected harvest and the target allocation , without exceeding the allocation.
With the above additions and revisions, the intent of the Council is to review the CSP analysis as a whole and take final action in the near future.

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Governor Announces Board of Fish Appointments

The Governor announced the reappointment of Karl Johnstone and the appointment of Orville Huntington of Huslia to replace Mike Smith.

The Board of Fisheries is responsible for conservation and development of the state’s fishery resources. This involves setting seasons, bag limits, methods and means for the state’s subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport, and personal use fisheries, and it also involves setting policy and direction for the management of the state’s fishery resources. The board is charged with making allocative decisions, and the Department of Fish and Game is responsible for management based on those decisions.

Huntington, of Huslia, works as the wildlife and parks director for the Tanana Chiefs Conference. Prior to that, he served for 14 years as a refuge information technician at the Koyukuk/Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge Complex and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Huntington has also worked as a fire fighter, fisherman, and in the Laborer’s and Carpenter’s Union. Huntington holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He grew up living and still lives a traditional Native subsistence way of life in the village of Huslia. He serves on the Alaska Federation of Natives board of directors as a representative of Interior villages.

Johnstone, of Anchorage, is a retired Superior Court judge who served on the bench from 1979 to 1996, including service as the presiding judge of the Third Judicial District for the last four years of his career. He has enjoyed sport fishing and also worked as a commercial fisherman for salmon in Bristol Bay and herring in southeast Alaska. Johnstone, first appointed in December 2008, is the current chair of the board.

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Southeast Chinook Salmon Quota Announced

The all gear quota is reduced by 28,000 fish from last year.
2012 Treaty Chinook Salmon Allocations
All-Gear treaty quota       266,800
Seine                                           11,472
Gillnet                                         7,737
Set-gillnet                                  1,000
Troll                                        197,272
Sport                                          49,318

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SEAL BOMBS – You Need a Firearms Permit to Purchase

Don’t forget that you need an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Permit in order to purchase seal bombs.  It is illegal for seal bombs to be sold to you without having a copy of your permit.  Punishable by jail time.  The following link will take you to an ATF permit.  It takes time to receive this permit.  We have been in contact with Senator’s Begich office about this issue and put into legislation an exemption to allow fishermen to use seal bombs.  If you are concerned about this contact Sen. Begich’s office and let them know that you would like the exemption.

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Governor makes NPFMC Appointments

March 15, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell nominated Robert “Ed” Dersham and Howard “Dan” Hull for consideration by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for continued service on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). The governor also named Timothy Evers and Julianne Curry as alternate nominees.

“The fisheries resources in the North Pacific are of vital importance to Alaska, and each of these nominees possesses excellent management and conservation skills,” Governor Parnell said. “Mr. Dersham and Mr. Hull have served effectively on the council, and Alaska’s interests will continue to be well-served by these nominees.” 

Dersham, of Anchorage, is completing his first full term on the NPFMC, having served a partial term immediately prior. An active charter boat operator and lodge owner in Lower Cook Inlet for more than 25 years, Dersham retired from a career as a special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. He also served for nine years on the Alaska Board of Fisheries, worked as a consultant for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and served as a coordinating liaison between the Board of Fisheries and the NPFMC. Dersham earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Oregon.

Hull, of Anchorage, is completing his first term on the NPFMC. He is the owner of Hull Fisheries LLC, fishing for halibut and salmon out of Cordova. He is currently a member of the Alaska Sea Grant Advisory Committee and a former member of the Cordova District Fishermen United Board of Directors, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council Public Advisory Group, Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation Board of Directors, Prince William Sound Fisheries Ecosystem Research Planning Group, and United Fishermen of Alaska Board of Directors. In addition to his 30 year career in commercial fishing, Hull also worked as a research associate for the Institute of Social and Economic Research. He earned a master’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Dartmouth College.

Evers, of Ninilchik, is currently a member of the Advisory Panel to the NPFMC. A longtime charter operator, Evers owned Deep Creek Sport Shop, Big Valley Lodge and Cabin Rentals, and Fishward Bound Adventures. Evers is the founder and former president of the Deep Creek Charterboat Association, and served on the Central Peninsula Fish and Game Advisory Committee. In addition, he served five terms on the National Association of Charterboat Operators.

Curry, of Petersburg, is the executive director of the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association and a member of the advisory panel to the NPFMC. Curry participates in the commercial fishery of halibut, sablefish, salmon, herring, and crab. She is a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the United Fishermen of Alaska, and is the chair of the Petersburg Commercial Fishing Committee. A member of the Petersburg Marine Mammal Center Board of Directors, Curry earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northern Arizona University.

With jurisdiction over the one million square mile Exclusive Economic Zone off the coast of Alaska, the NPFMC has primary responsibility for groundfish management in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands, including cod, pollock, flatfish, mackerel, sablefish, and rockfish species harvested mainly by trawlers, hook and line longliners, and pot fishermen. Established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act, the council is one of eight regional councils dedicated to the oversight of the nation’s fisheries. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act, which was originally signed into law in 1976, empowers the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to choose the final appointees from applicants nominated by governors of coastal states.

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AMSEA Classes Offered

March 22, 2012 10 Hour Fishing Vessel Safety & Drill Conductor Class – NSRAA, Sitka AK

April 18, 2012 Upright & Watertight Stability Awareness & Damage Control Course – NSRAA, Sitka, AK

Call 907-747-3287 for more information or to register.

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Board of Fish Adjourns

SEAFA Member Update BOF #4 3.4.12Herring was not reconsidered.

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Board of Fish Update 3

Board of Fish is done deliberating 3 of the 4 sub-committees.
SEAFA Member Update BOF 3.3.12

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Board of Fish Update 2

Board of Fish Update 2/28/12

Last Night report I wasn’t sure that I had Proposal #217 amendment correct. The correct numbers for the split of commercial fishery allocation is 46% directed; 12% longline and 8% troll.

The Board clarified on the record but did not reconsider any information pertaining to #216 Sablefish annual limit proposal that the area closed is District 12 (Chatham Strait – North of Point Gardner.

Proposal #206 – Create a directed pot fishery for spiny dogfish. FAILED 1/6/0 based on the information that a fisherman could apply for a Commissioner’s permit. (probably unlikely to receive one).

Proposal #207 – increase sport fish bag limit for spiny dogfish to 10 with no annual limit. FAILED 1/6/0

Proposal #249 – annual limits on salmon for non-residents. FAILED 0/7/0

Proposal 252 – Prohibit the use of a power assist reel to retrieve sport fish, except by anglers with a disability. FAILED 1/6/0

Proposal #254 – Allow the use of bait by anglers age 10 or younger in lakes designated as high use or small cutthroat lakes. AMENDED to allow the use of bait by kids under age 16 in Pat’s Lake for two weekends in June (4 days) with a bag limit of two fish – no size limit (kids only) (RC 84) PASSED 7/0/0

Proposal #301 – Close waters on the Tsui River to Commercial was AMENDED to close upstream of the ½ way point for the year between the terminus of the river to the Duck Creek Marker. (RC 102) PASSES 4/3/0

Proposal #230 – Herring Management Plan for Sitka Sac Roe Fishery by adding three criteria FAILED 0/7/0

Proposal #232 – Change the formula for determining the harvest rate for the Sitka Sound Sac Roe Fishery FAILED 0/7/0 (lot of time spent on this proposal and attempts to amend before finally failing)

Proposal #231 – Close the Sitka Sac Roe Fishery when the total harvest is within 10% of the GHL. FAILED 0/7/0

Proposal #233 & 234 – Equal shares for Sitka Sac Roe Fishery. FAILED 1/6/0

Proposal #235 – Keep fishing vessel participating in the Sitka Sac Roe fishery out of the area to be opened until the start of the opening. WITHDRAWN BY PROPOSER – NO ACTION

Proposal #238 & 239 – Close an area of Sitka Sound to the commercial seine sac roe fishery. AMENDED to a smaller area. (See RC 90 click on link to SE Finfish Meeting and then scroll to the bottom of documents to RC 82-101) PASSED 6/1/0

Proposal #242 – Increase the minimum herring threshold level for the West Behm Canal Area. FAILED 1/6/0

Proposal #273 – Require permits for subsistence or personal use harvest of herring eggs. FAILED 1/6/0

Proposal #325 – Chum Troller Assoc. proposal to develop a targeted chum troll fishery in District 12 & 14. AMENDED / PASSED 6/0/1 SEE RC 97 for regulatory language.

Proposal #326 – Chum troll fishery in District 11-A in July. WITHDRAWN BY PROPOSER NO ACTION TAKEN (Withdrawn as compromise on Proposal #326)

Proposal #337 – Herring Cove Management Plan. AMENDED that basically put the current practices in regulatory language. PASSED 6/0/1

Proposal #260 – Include Stat areas 101-29 & 101-25 and the remaining portion of 101-27 in the THA for sport fishery and implement a bag limit of two king salmon for residents and non-residents in the expanded area and the fish would not count towards the non-resident annual limit. FAILED 0/7/0

Proposal #261 – Increase king salmon bag limit for residents and non-residents by one additional fish from June 1 – July 31st in the proposed expanded THA when the king salmon abundance index is 1.51 or higher. Non-resident annual limit would apply. FAILED 0/7/0

Proposal #331 – Submitted by SSRAA to revise the Neets Bay THA deleting current schedules in regulation and allowing the Board to set fishing schedules in response to broodstock, cost recovery and the status of the SE Enhanced Allocation Plan. AMENDED to: After July 4th the first opening will go to the net gear group farthest behind in the SE Enhanced Allocation Plan. PASSED 7/0/0

Proposal #285 – Remove the 58 foot vessel length requirement in combination with a second permit. FAILED 1/5/1

Proposal #286 – Change the vessel length from 58 feet to 75 feet. FAILED 0/6/1

Proposal #287 – A seine permit holder in the West Behm Canal herring sac roe fishery to designate another permit holder to fish their equal share. NO ACTION (don’t have the legal authority )

Proposal #247 – Develop a Juneau roadside fishery management plan. NO ACTION (don’t have the regulatory authority as written)

Proposal #268 – Dept proposal withdrawn that would clarify personal use finfish regulations. NO ACTION

THE BOARD OF FISH TOOK NO ACTION ON THE FOLLOWING PROPOSAL AS REQUESTED BY THE JOINT RPT INDUSTRY CONSENSUS AGREEMENT (Proposals #’s 289; 290; 291; 295; 296; 297; 298; 308; 323; 324; 332; 333; and 336.

The Board of Fish is done with the Committe of the Whole and committee will start tomorrow morning.

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SE Board of Fish

The Board of Fish started deliberating on some of the proposals that they discussed in the committee of the whole. According to my notes here are the actions that have been taken so far.

Proposal #210: AMENDED to(summarized language): A person sport-fishing from a charter vessel when releasing a non-pelagic rockfish shall immediately utilize a deep water release mechanism to return the rockfish to the bottom near where the fish was hooked or to at least a 100 feet in depth whichever is shallower. PASSED 7/0/0

Proposal #211: No Action based on #210

Proposal #212: Change the rockfish allocation from 16% sport/84% commercial to 25% sport/75% commercial. FAILED 0/6/1 after an attempt to amend to a 20/80% split failed for a lack of a second.

Proposal #216: AMENDED: Proposal was originally to repeal the annual limit. Proposal was amended to read: Non-resident bag limit is 4 fish, 4 in possession, no size limit except, in that portion of NSEI waters identified as Chatham Strait, North of Point Gardner an 8 fish annual limit will apply. Amended motion PASSED 6/1/0. It was clarified that Lynn Canal and Icy Straits is not part of Chatham Strait but there is not clarity on the upper boundary of Chatham Strait.

Proposal #217: AMENDED: Lingcod allocation guidelines for Eastern Gulf of Alaska Area. Believe the proposal was amended to take out the reference to increasing the GHR by 20,000 pounds. The proposal as written would reallocate the lingcod quota in the Icy Bay sub-district between the directed lingcod fishery 46%; longline bycatch 10%; and salmon troll bycatch 10%; maintaining the sport quota at the current 33.33% PASSED 7/0/0 (need to double check the final record on this proposal.

Proposal #219, 220, 221, 222 all FAILED 0/7/0 and all were proposals to either increase the GHR or reallocate lingcod.

More Deliberations in the morning and then they are hoping by afternoon to start committees.

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