Tag Archives: NPFMC

Did climate change really kill billions of snow crabs in Alaska? Here’s what experts say

Some fishers and crab experts have put forward a different idea: They’ve suggested that fishing, particularly the unintentional capture of crabs in fishing gear known as trawls, also contributed to the loss of the snow crab, or at the very least, impeded the species’ recovery from low population levels. The snow crab fishing season closure has amplified a chorus of concerns around Alaska’s trawling industry — mainly from within the fishery sector itself — and the knowledge gaps around its potential impact on fisheries. >click to read< 08:29

Battlefront: Salmon bycatch, electronic monitoring on the table at Sitka meeting of NPFMC

The bycatch of chinook and chum salmon is on the agenda, as the spring meeting of the North Pacific Management Council gets underway in Sitka this week (June 9-14). In addition to hearing how much salmon is being intercepted in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea by the trawl fisheries, the council will review a proposal to supplement the human observer program with electronic monitoring. >click to read< Note: Find links to the Council’s agenda and meeting livestream here.

NPFMC asks industry for recommendations on Bristol Bay red king crab

The Bristol Bay red king crab fishery is historically one of the most valuable in the state, but for the last decade, the stock has been declining. Last fall, surveys showed that the female biomass of the stock had fallen below acceptable levels for harvest, and managers closed it. At the April NPFMC meeting, the council members approved a motion to ask the industry to come back with a list of voluntary actions harvesters and other industry stakeholders can take to help reduce bycatch of Bristol Bay red king crab and reduce discard mortality in the directed fishery. Industry stakeholders include not just the directed harvesters in the red king crab fishery, but also reach to the Pacific cod sector, pollock, and Amendment 80 fleets, which impact red king crab stocks based on area and bycatch rates. >click to read< 15:10

NPFMC decision puts Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishery in jeopardy

Final action by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council on commercial salmon fishing in Cook Inlet threatens to exclude drift gillnet harvesters from fishing in the inlet’s commercial waters at the start of the 2022 fishing season. In a near unanimous decision reached during the council’s virtual meeting on Monday, Dec. 7, the panel selected an alternative that would close off to the commercial fleet federal waters outside of three miles from shore, an area where most of the fleet get the bulk of its catch. >click to read< 16:43

NPFMC closing Cook Inlet federal waters to commercial salmon fishing

Council action on incorporating the federal waters of Cook Inlet into a federal Fishery Management Plan was necessitated by a lawsuit brought against federal managers by the United Cook Inlet Drift Association, which represents the drift gillnet fleet of Cook Inlet and was unhappy with state management. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that NPFMC incorporate the federal waters of Cook Inlet into a federal Fishery Management Plan by the end of the year. >click to read< 10:04

NPFMC meets online to resolve halibut issues

Federal fisheries managers met online in mid-May to approve emergency action necessitated by the impact of the novel coronavirus,, The session, announced in late April, allowed for harvests, processors and other fishing industry entities until one day in advance of the May 15 meeting to submit written comments through links on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s agenda on five emergency requests. Those requests ranged from allowing all holders of individual fishing quota to make temporary transfers of that quota to eligible hired masters during the pandemic to increasing IFQ end-of-year rollover provisions. The council approved the transfer for the rest of the 2020 season for quota shares owned by all halibut and sablefish IFQ holders, based on a request from 11 industry leaders. The council also recommended to the International Pacific Halibut Commission, a request from the halibut charter industry,,,>click to read< 18:34

Crabbers face another round of harvest cuts

Bering Sea crabbers started their 2019-20 season this week with a mixed harvest bag and an uncertain future for their fisheries. The NPFMC and Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, which collaboratively manage the state’s crab fisheries, announced the catch limits and overfishing limit for the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay crab fisheries last week, just in time for the fisheries to open Oct. 15. While the eastern Bering Sea snow crab fishery’s total allowable catch is up, the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery’s is down and there won’t be a Bering Sea Tanner crab fishery at all.  >click to read< 21:52

Fish pie – Everyone wants a piece

Representatives of the haves and have-nots of American ocean fisheries gathered in a packed college classroom here on Wednesday to offer Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, their ideas on what he could do with the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. The now 40-year-old federal fisheries legislation is the legacy of the late and revered Alaska Sen.Ted Stevens.,,, And there is no doubt the MSA has problems when it comes to dealing with recreational fishing. Anglers, charter-boat operators, commercial fishermen and environmental groups are at the moment all in a Gulf of Mexico scrum fighting over red snapper. It is in many ways a tussle that almost makes the long-running fish war in Cook Inlet look tame. click here to read the story 08:25

Ludger Dochtermann of Kodiak – Reinstituting Reasonable Crab Pot Limits

Dear Board of Fisheries members: My name is Ludger Dochtermann of Kodiak, and I own two crab vessels, the F/V Northpoint and F/V Stormbird. Like all others in the fleet, we are deeply affected by the recent sinking of the F/V Destination off St. George Island and the loss of her entire crew.  The Stormbird is also fishing out of St. George this season. It is obvious that icing played a large part in that sinking, and word is that the vessel had an excessive number of pots aboard at the time.  Tarps were ripped off and found among the flotsam along with buoys and a life ring. The weather at the time made for severe conditions and risky business. It is challenging to parse between proposals, regulations, and policy, and just plain duty. The IFQ fisheries were instituted for privatization; and a federally imposed IFQ system came into being without NPFMC and U.S. Senate testimonies by vessel architects, load-line engineers, USCG safety officers, insurance experts and experienced captains discussing the specific concerns of safety. Continue reading the letter here 15:54

NPFMC tightens Southcentral charter halibut allocation for 2016

Blue NPFMC SidebarThe level of legally harvestable halibut in the North Pacific has dropped for a decade, and though biologists think the biomass has stabilized, downsized fishermen continue to fight for as much valuable quota as possible. Charter guides who’ve seen their portion drop want a way to buy quota from commercial operators. The commercial fleet sees the plan as an unfair grab. They already share fish with charter guides under a catch sharing plan and there is a program for charter operators to lease, but not purchase, commercial quota. Read the article here 10:16

Alaska flatfish catchers take hit after NPFMC bycatch vote

“We are not happy. This is a huge, huge cut,” Chris Woodley, executive director of the Groundfish Forum in Seattle, Wash. “We have already taken a 20 percent cut in the last seven years and now this is a 25 percent reduction.” The Groundfish Forum estimates USD 30 million (EUR 26.6 million) to USD 50 million (EUR 44.3 million) in losses to catchers-processors of Pacific cod, sole, Atka mackerel and other flatfish because of the reduction. Read the rest here 21:24

North Pacific Fishery Management Council seeks to reduce veto threat over MSA — but not during its meeting in Sitka.

Blue NPFMC SidebarCouncil members have concerns over amendments that would exempt fisheries decisions from the National Environmental Policy Act, and open the door to potentially biased science. (but, we already have NOAA’s “best available” science!) The final recommendations from the council on changes to the Magnuson Stevens Act won’t be made until another committee — the CCC, or Council Coordination Committee — meets later this month. Read the rest here 13:58

Unalaska city council ducks halibut bycatch issue


When Mayor Shirley Marquardt goes to bat for the industrial fishing fleet in the struggle over halibut bycatch next month in Sitka, she won’t be speaking on behalf of the Unalaska City Council. The city council did vote to pay her way to the meeting, but avoided the halibut bycatch issue. The fish versus fish battle puts halibut one side, facing off against yellowfin sole, turbot, flounder and other flatfish, and Pacific ocean perch, sold mainly in Asia by the Seattle-based distant water fleet. Read the rest here  18:46 This revealing article has miraculously, disappeared!

Feds approve fish pots to outsmart opportunistic whales – Dungeness Gear Works is ready to deliver!

black cod pots, dungeness gear worksGulf of Alaska whales that dine on hooked black cod are likely to find slimmer pickings in the years ahead. Under a measure approved late Sunday by the NPFMC, fishermen will be free to ditch their longline gear that frequently lose the fish to killer and sperm whales. The fishermen now will be permitted to use pots that trap — rather than hook — the bottom-dwelling fish, and then protect the catch from hungry cetaceans as it’s brought to the surface. Read the rest here, and NPFMC OKs pots to deter whales here 17:32

Pot Longline Gear Approved for Gulf of Alaska Sablefish IFQ Fishery

Final action reached at the council’s meeting on April 12 includes provisions for identifying tags on the pots, retention of halibut caught incidentally and a review of the effects of this fishery three years after implementation. The council’s action still faces a lengthy regulatory process and is not likely to go into effect until 2017, said Glenn Merrill, head of NOAA Fisheries’ NMFS Alaska Region division of sustainable fisheries.  Read the rest here 15:55

Alaska groundfish fleets face big blow from halibut bycatch proposals

USIntrepidAmericanNo1_KristianUri-1024x768Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) groundfish fleets are staring down at what could be a shocking blow to revenues next year. The North Pacific Fishery Management (NPFMC) is considering halibut bycatch allocation reductions for BSAI groundfish fleets ranging from 10% to 50%, with a final vote slated for its June meeting. As the potential impacts of this blow begin to sink in, one company — three-decade old Fishermen’s Finest — has already assessed the damages, and they’re not pretty. Read the rest here 16:39

NPFMC to review 50 percent cut on halibut bycatch

alaska-halibut__frontHalibut harvests have been on the decline in the Bering Sea for several years. But the amount that trawlers and catcher-processors are allowed to take incidentally has stayed the same. Now, fishery regulators have agreed to consider stiffer limits on halibut bycatch. Read the rest here 16:08

NPFMC to focus on halibut bycatch, new P-cod fishery during February 2nd – 10th Meeting in Seattle

Blue NPFMC SidebarHalibut and cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutians Islands will be the focus for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council at its upcoming meeting, with some attention to the simmering issue of national monument designations that are chafing Alaska politicians and communities. The council will hold their first meeting of 2015 in Seattle Feb. 2-10. Read the rest here 08:35

Hot off the press, At the NPFMC – Council hears Gulf of Alaska salmon bycatch breakdown

Blue NPFMC SidebarGulf catch share discussion continues – The bycatch report was one of several the reports related to the Gulf of Alaska rationalization program the council heard yesterday and today. Read the rest here 20:29 Listen live npfmc.adobeconnect.com.

Criticism of NPFMC bycatch measures failed to take successes into account

OPINION: A recent commentary singing the praises of bycatch reduction in Canada, and asserting that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is unable or unwilling to address the issue in federal waters off Alaska, ignores efforts already underway here.  <Read more here> 05:26

Seward tops commercial fisheries – Wolfgang Kurtz

While Homer, Kodiak and Seward continue to compete for the top spot in commercial halibut landings this year, Seward has taken a big lead when sablefish is added into the mix.,,,Between halibut and sablefish, commonly called black cod, Seward has more pounds of fish landed so far this season than Homer and Kodiak combined. Read more here  19:33

North Pacific council asks for analysis of salmon bycatch reductions – NPFMC Meeting continues, Listen Live

23523_354387901211_7651997_aThe North Pacific Fishery Management Council took a step toward considering salmon bycatch reductions in the Bering Sea today. The council initiated an analysis of a regulatory amendment package that includes five alternatives that could reduce chum and chinook bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. Read more here 14:24

The meeting will be broadcast at https://npfmc.adobeconnect.com/june2014/.

Opinion: What “Green Governor” Jay Inslee could do on World Oceans Day

This Sunday, people around the world will mark World Oceans Day by celebrating the water that unites us. Here in Seattle, we have the opportunity to preserve a critical part of the ocean that supports one of our greatest industries: the North Pacific commercial fishing industry. Read more here 11:22

Anyone tryin to listen to NPFMC meeting? Try here!

having problems with webex broadcasting the Council meeting.  Try
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/npfmc   14:23

Governor Sean Parnell today nominated Simon Kinneen for NPFMC

March 6, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today nominated Simon Kinneen for consideration by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for service on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). The governor also named Ragnar Alstrom and John Moller as alternate nominees. Read more here  Alaska Fish Radio  19:07

Council asks for info on halibut vessel caps

23523_354387901211_7651997_aAfter extensive public testimony on the matter, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council agreed to take an initial step in possible changes to the existing vessel caps in halibut and sablefish fisheries. Read [email protected] 15:47

NPFMC talks BSAI halibut, Pacific cod

SEATTLE — Bering Sea halibut bycatch will be back on the menu at an upcoming fisheries meeting. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council, or NPFMC, agreed unanimously today to ask for another draft of a Bering Sea halibut bycatch discussion paper. Read [email protected]  14:11

Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization: NPFMC Council discusses changes

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council heard a brief update on the Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization this morning.(02/05/2014), A council representative will be expected to provide about five minutes of testimony, and longer written comments, during a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing Feb. 27. NPFMC Executive Director Chris Oliver talked about the House Natural Resources Committee draft of the MSA during his report to the council Read [email protected]  08:25

NPFMC talks crab, halibut bycatch

SEATTLE — The North Pacific Fishery Management Council spent much of the day talking about Bering Sea bycatch, and agreed to move forward on one related discussion paper…The council also heard extensive public testimony on halibut bycatch in that same region this afternoon. Action is expected on that issue Saturday morning, with the advisory panel recommending another draft of the halibut bycatch discussion paper. Read more from Molly Dischner @alaskajournal.com     The meeting will be broadcast LIVE at npfmc.webex.com.  08:16

Day 6 NPFMC Meeting – October 2 – 8 – Listen Live

npfmcLink to the Agenda here   To listen live while the meeting is in session Link here  09:44