North Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976 to manage fisheries in the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, 3 miles off the coast of Alaska.
The people serving on the Council or other Council-sponsored groups are made of up appointees from Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. The Council, along with the advisory bodies, were formed so federal fishery management decisions could be made at a local level, emphasizing public input.
Partnerships with other governmental agencies like the U.S. Coast Guard, the Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game play an important role in advising the Council, along with many stakeholders: industry representatives, environmental organizations, commercial and recreational fishers, subsistence users and tribal organizations.
The success and sustainability of the fisheries depend on good working relationships among all these groups in an open and transparent process. All Council meetings and Council-related meetings are public and the meeting information and related material can be found on our eAgenda portal.
The Council Staff prepares analyses to address habitat concerns, catch limits, allocation issues, and other management details. The analyses have a focus on economics, social science, biology, ecosystems, and habitat.
The advisory groups and committees may have been tasked with providing or soliciting more specific information in order to advise the Council in the decision-making process. Advisory groups include an Advisory Panel (AP), the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), Plan Teams, and other committees. Advisory groups provide comments, both written and oral, on relevant issues being considered by the Council.
Advisory Panel (AP) -The Council receives advice at each meeting from a 22-member Advisory Panel representing user groups, environmentalists, recreational fishermen, and consumer groups.
Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) -The Council also receives reviews and recommendations from highly respected resource economists and biologists who are knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the fisheries of Alaska.
Plan Teams –The Council has teams of scientists and managers that review annually the status of the Fishery Management Plans. BSAI Groundfish, GOA Groundfish, Scallop, and Crab plan team members are appointed by the Council.
There are also ad hoc committees, which focus on specific timely topics and are appointed to advise the Council on a single issue. Meetings of the various advisory bodies are open to the public. Anyone may attend and provide comments.
We also need to hear from the public! Written public comment is taken before the meetings, and verbal public comment is taken during the meetings before the Council debates and comes to a decision, usually by vote.
If you’re interested in finding out more about who we are and the process involved: Navigating NPFMC Meetings