FISHERIES -- Although the group is a bit off our inland radar, the Pacific Fishery Management Council and its advisory bodies are making important decisions that affect our ocean fisheries and the returns of salmon and steelhead to our inland waters.
And the group is deliberating and hearing presentations in public meetings right here in Spokane this week.
The council's meeting started Monday and runs through the weekend ending next Monday at the DoubleTree Hotel Spokane City Center, 322 N. Spokane Falls Ct., to address issues related to salmon, groundfish, coastal pelagic species, highly migratory species and habitat matters.
One key decision will be whether to move ahead with ecosystem management on ocean fisheries, says Erik Robinson of the Pew Environment Group.
Conserving forage fish is an emerging topic, with a California forage fish protection law that just passed out of the Assembly last week, and newly published research on forage fish is catching attention.
Read on for more agenda items and details.
Key agenda items include Council considerations to:
- Adopt Salmon Fishery Management Plan Amendment 16 addressing annual catch limits and accountability measures.
- Adopt recommendations for U.S. delegations to the inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission meeting and the upcoming session of the Northern Committee.
- Approve stock assessment, harvest guideline, and management measures for the 2011-2012 Pacific mackerel fisheries.
- Provide guidance on development of an ecosystem fishery management plan.
- Determine the process and actions necessary to implement the 2012 groundfish fisheries.
- Approve stock assessments and a new process and schedule for 2013-2014 groundfish management.
- Adopt preliminary preferred alternatives for trailing actions under trawl rationalization and intersector allocation programs.
- Consider inseason adjustment to the 2011 groundfish fisheries.
Please refer to the Meeting Agenda for a complete list of issues to be addressed.
A schedule of advisory group meetings is provided on the last pages of the Meeting Agenda.
Copies of briefing materials prepared for the meeting can be found on the council's Briefing Book webpage.