The North Pacific Fishery Management Council had more to think about than just halibut at its February meeting in Seattle Feb. 4-10.
A 10-year review of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands crab rationalization program is due in 2015, 100 percent observer coverage for all Gulf of Alaska trawlers is up for discussion, a new Pacific cod CDQ fishery is opening, and two fishery governance bodies are losing senior members.
The council asked its staff to develop a discussion paper on the impacts of requiring 100 percent observer coverage for all trawl vessels in the Gulf of Alaska, or GOA. The motion was introduced by Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten. It passed 9-2, opposed by John Henderschedt and Bill Tweit of Washington state.
This follows a lengthy legal and regulatory process implementing the observer program over the last few years and should factor heavily into the development of a GOA rationalization plan currently underway.
Because trawlers account for most of the halibut bycatch, the data from observers has to be more comprehensive, the council reasons.
Read the full story at the Alaska Journal of Commerce>>
Want to read more about observer program? Click here...