The Council reviewed an initial draft of the Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP). The Bering Sea FEP establishes a framework for the Council’s continued progress towards ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM) of the Bering Sea fisheries, and relies and builds on the Council’s existing processes, advisory groups, and management practice. The core FEP document reviewed at the meeting identifies management goals and objectives for the FEP and for monitoring of the Bering Sea ecosystem, and describes how the FEP framework will support research projects (Action Modules) to address Council priorities. The FEP offers a framework for strengthening trust, transparency, and a sense of shared investment among managers, scientists, and stakeholders. It is intended to be a living document and process, and adopting the FEP will mark the beginning of the Council’s use of the FEP to improve ecosystem-based fishery management.
The Council requested that the Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team, which has been developing the FEP, make specific clarifications to the document following the recommendations of the Ecosystem Committee, and SSC, including the role of the FEP team in the ongoing FEP process, how the FEP will avoid redundancy with existing Council processes, and identifying the FEP as a strategic document.
Staff contact is Diana Evans.