Pacific halibut and Chinook salmon are taken as prohibited species catch (PSC) in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) groundfish trawl fisheries. In June 2012, the Council initiated the process of developing a program that will provide the groundfish trawl fleet with tools for more effective management of PSC, including incentives for minimization and better utilization of bycatch, as well as vessel-level accountability. (Related: Reducing Bycatch in Alaska flyer.) Staff contact is Sam Cunningham: 907-271-1283.
In October 2012, the Council defined a Purpose & Need statement, as well as 14 goals and objectives for the program. The Purpose & Need statement was revised in February 2013 to include all regulatory areas of the GOA where groundfish trawl fishing occurs. The purpose of the proposed action is to improve stock conservation through vessel-level and/or cooperative-level incentives to eliminate wasteful fishing practices, provide mechanisms to control and reduce bycatch, and create accountability measures when utilizing PSC, target, and secondary species. It will also have the added benefit of reducing the incentive to fish during unsafe conditions and improving operational efficiencies.
The Council recognizes that GOA harvesters, processors, and communities all have a stake in the groundfish trawl fisheries. The program is expected to support the continued direct and indirect participation of the coastal communities that are dependent upon those fisheries.
In June 2013, the Council received stakeholder proposals on design elements to be considered for a bycatch management program. In October 2013, the Council forwarded a framework of one potential program structure for preliminary analysis, and received a discussion paper on that framework in April 2014. In February 2014, the Council convened a workshop on the development of community protection measures in groundfish catch share programs in other U.S. regions. (2/14 workshop summary.) The Council reviewed discussion papers exploring possible elements of a cooperative-based program structure in October 2014 and again in October 2015. At its October 2015 meeting, the Council expanded its range of alternatives for analysis to four, including a “no action” alternative. Staff is in the process of developing a work plan to produce an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which the Council will review in December 2015.
Documents and Council Motions
- GOA Trawl Bycatch Management – Discussion Paper, Council motion 10/15
- GOA Trawl Bycatch Management – Primary, Secondary, and PSC catch tables (in Excel), 10/19/15
- GOA Tendering Discussion Paper, Council motion 2/15
- MOTION from October 2014 Council meeting: GOA Trawl Bycatch Management Motion
- GOA Trawl Bycatch Management Program Discussion Paper 10/14
- Community Fishing Association and Adaptive Management Discussion paper 10/14
- 2012 GOA Chinook Salmon Bycatch Genetics Report 10/14
- MOTIONS from April 2014 Council meeting: GOA Trawl Bycatch Management Program, Community Fishing Associations, Adaptive Management, EDR
- GOA Trawl Bycatch Management Discussion Paper 4/14
- CFA Workshop Summary 2/14
- GOA Pot Cod Participation Discussion Paper 2/14
- GOA Trawl Bycatch Management motion 10/13
- Discussion paper on GOA Trawl Bycatch Management 10/13
- GOA Trawl Data Collection discussion paper 10/13
- GOA tendering motion 6/13
- GOA trawl bycatch management/roadmap motion 6/13
- Preliminary GOA trawl bycatch management proposals 6/13
- GOA Trawl Data Collection, GOA Tendering Report,6/13
- GOA Trawl Bycatch Management Discussion Paper, Errata (5/24/13)
- GOA trawl bycatch management program motion; Economic Data Collection motion 2/13
- Discussion paper on data collection for CGOA trawl catch share program 2/13
- Discussion paper on CGOA trawl catch share program 2/13
- GOA non-pollock chinook bycatch motion 12/12
- Initial Review GOA Chinook PSC analysis 12/12
- GOA trawl PSC tools motion 10/12
- GOA Comprehensive Bycatch motion 6/12