NPFMC Meeting Gets Underway in Seattle

The general session of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s meeting in Seattle is underway today at the Renaissance Hotel, and is being broadcast online via
On the agenda for today are a number of reports from National Marine Fisheries Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the US Coast Guard, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the Navy, the last regarding its upcoming Gulf of Alaska training exercises set for May.

An initial review of community development quota ownership caps is on the agenda for Thursday morning. The Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requires that the Council and NMFS establish limitations on ownership and use of limited access privileges to prevent excessive consolidation of privileges. In addition to their allocations under the CDQ program Alaska’s CDQ groups participate in other LAP programs, including the American Fisheries Act and crab rationalization program.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act was revised in 2006 to direct the CDQ groups be subject to excessive share ownership, harvesting, or processing limitations using the individual and collective rule to attribute ownership. Since then, NMFS has implemented the proportional ownership attribution method for CDQ groups to monitor excessive share caps in the AFA and crab rationalization program. Regulations for the AFA and crab rationalization programs and the fishery management plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Island crab have not, however, been revised to reflect this change. The action before the council would revise regulations and the crab fishery management plan for consistency with Magnuson-Stevens and current practice.