The council is considering a proposed management change to establish electric monitoring as part of the North Pacific Observer Program. The observer program collects data needed for the conservation, management and scientific understanding of groundfish and halibut fisheries. The document before the council analyzes alternatives to allow an electronic monitoring system, developed with input from the council’s fixed gear electronic monitoring work group. To date program development has focused primarily on an electronic monitoring program where data would be used for catch estimation.
The work group has also recommended that the council add an additional option to the analysis, to allow vessel operators fishing individual fishing quota in multiple areas to retain harvest in excess of the amount of quota available in a single area, if they have onboard either an observer or electronic monitoring equipment.
The council will also review the draft 2017 annual deployment plan and offer its recommendations to the National Marine Fisheries Service for the final 2017 plan.