Federal Fisheries Council Takes Up Crab,
Groundfish Issues

The fall meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council got underway this week, with meetings of the council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee. The only final action on the agenda is over removing processing restrictions for squid and sculpins in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

Another major issue on the council’s agenda is a review of the Crab Plan Team report on Eastern Bering Sea snow crab, Bristol Bay red king crab, Eastern Bering Sea Tanner crab, Pribilof Islands red and blue king crab, St. Matthew blue king crab, Norton Sound red king crab, Aleutian islands golden king crab, Pribilof District golden king crab, and Western Aleutians red king crab.

The council will review plan team reports for groundfish harvests in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska, with recommendations on harvest limits, prohibited species catch limits and halibut discard mortality rates for 2021-2022.

Also on the agenda are an initial review of the Cook Inlet fishery management plan, the observer 2021 annual deployment plan review and an initial review of the Bering Sea halibut abundance based management alternatives under consideration.

All sessions of the council meeting and those of its Advisory Panel and Scientific and Statistical committees are being held online only as a precautionary measure for health and safety reasons because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The complete agenda is online at https://www.npfmc.org/wp-content/PDFdocuments/meetings/SCHEDULE_1020.pdf

Signup sheets will be available online at https://www.npfmc.org/upcoming-council-meetings/

For the council meetings Oct. 2 Oct. 9 and Oct. 12-16; the Advisory Panel meetings Oct. 5-9, and the SSC meetings which began Sept. 28 and continue through Oct. 2.

There will be a practice session for the public to test connecting and testifying on Friday, Oct. 2, at 9:30 a.m. Anyone needing help should contact npfmc.admin@noaa.gov with questions.
The draft three-meeting outlook is also online at https://www.npfmc.org/wp-content/PDFdocuments/meetings/threemeetingoutlook.pdf