At the June meeting, the Council received a discussion paper that included a status report on Amendment 113 litigation and potential regulatory approaches that could be used to provide opportunities for trawl catcher vessels harvesting Pacific cod in the AI and delivering the Pacific cod to AI shoreplants. After reviewing the discussion paper and receiving public testimony, the Council requested a discussion of trawl CV harvests and deliveries in the AI Pacific cod fishery and the set-aside provisions established with Amendment 113 be included in the BSAI Pacific cod trawl catcher vessel management scoping document scheduled for the October 2019 Council meeting. The Council also noticed the public that depending on the results of the scoping paper, the Council may consider an AI focused limited access program (LAPP) as a long-term solution for AI shoreplant protections in the future.
The Council considered but ultimately did not recommend a proposal for an emergency action to implement a BS limitation for the 2020 A-season BSAI Pacific cod for the trawl catcher vessel sector. In part, the proposal for emergency action stems from the March 21, 2019, U.S. District Court opinion concerning Amendment 113 and removal of the rules implementing Amendment 113. The Council noted that the proposal would not guarantee deliveries of AI Pacific cod to AI shoreplants, and therefore would not resolve the emergency identified in the proposal. Although the Council recognized the risks to AI shoreplants as a result of removing the regulations previously implementing Amendment 113, the Council concluded that the emergency rule proposal does not meet all the criteria for an emergency rule. In addition, the Council requested a discussion of the AI set-aside structure as part of the community protection section of the BSAI Pacific cod trawl CV management scoping paper. The intent of this approach is to provide a comprehensive, long-term solution for the BSAI Pacific cod trawl CV fishery, of which an AI set-aside is one of several important elements in the management of that fishery.
Staff contact is Jon McCracken.