Halibut, Crab, Groundfish on Tap for October NPFMC Meeting

Final action on the Pacific halibut catch sharing plan, a report
of the groundfish plan team, and a number of issues related to crab management in
the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands are on tap for the October meeting of the North
Pacific Fishery Management Council in Anchorage.
The council has set aside 12 hours each to discuss halibut and
crab issues, plus six hours for various groundfish issues.
A council update on the status of the halibut catch sharing plan,
which is online at www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc,
outlines the five options for allocating Pacific halibut between the commercial
individual fishing quota sector and charter sector, based on a combined catch limit
that would be set annually by the International Pacific Halibut Commission in Area
2C and Area 3A.
In the area of crab management, the council will do an initial
review of Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands crab right of first refusal, as well as an
initial review of active participation requirements for this fishery. Also on tap
are a discussion paper on crab cooperative provisions for crew, a work group report
on binding arbitration, a discussion paper on binding arbitration issues, a review
of forms and draft regulations for crab economic data reporting, and discussion
on revised alternatives for the tanner crab-rebuilding plan.
The council has also set aside six hours for groundfish issues,
including feedback on goals and objectives on Central Gulf of Alaska trawl prohibited
species catch tools, an expanded discussion paper on vessel monitoring system use
and requirements, and a review of the Bering sea habitat conservation area boundary.
Also on the agenda is a discussion paper on northern Bering Sea research.