The Council reviewed the final report of its Community Engagement Committee (CEC) and recommended several actions to enhance engagement with rural and Alaska Native communities. The CEC was authorized and formed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in June 2018 to identify and recommend strategies for the Council to provide effective engagement with rural and Alaska Native communities. The CEC developed recommendations for the Council over the course of five meetings and one teleconference. The final meeting was held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The full list of CEC recommendations is available on the committee’s final report.
The recommendations from the Council in response to the Committee’s report are detailed in the Council motion and include:
- Providing cultural awareness training for Council members and staff;
- Assigning responsibilities for a Rural Fisheries Community/Tribal Liaison position to an existing staff member;
- Reconstituting and maintaining the Community Engagement Committee with its charter to identify and recommend strategies for the Council to enact processes that provide effective rural and Alaska Native community engagement;
- Exploring ways to improve opportunities for public testimony;
- Clarifying the Council process to allow any member of the public to waive questions during public comment;
- Reviewing current Council meeting standard operating procedures and policies and IT requirements to support remote access to Council meetings and to support in-person Council meetings in rural and Alaska Native communities;
- Working with NMFS to receive and understand results of Tribal Consultation meetings early in the Council process;
- Continuing current outreach practices and explore ways to improve information delivery and strategies to foster two-way engagement;
- Supporting FEP Taskforce efforts to create processes and protocols for the Council to identify, analyze, and incorporate Traditional Knowledge, Local Knowledge, and subsistence information into the Council decision making process.
Staff contact is Steve MacLean.