Every April, the Council reviews cooperative reports submitted by representatives from the American Fisheries Act Program, Amendment 80 Program, Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program, and BSAI Crab Rationalization Program. As part of these programs, cooperatives have been required or requested to provide an annual written report detailing the use of the cooperative quota or addressing other specific areas of Council interest. The written reports and the voluntary presentations (available under Agenda Item D1) are a resource for the Council to track the effectiveness of the cooperatives and whether the cooperative programs are meeting their intended goals. The reports and presentations also facilitate feedback from cooperative managers to the Council on successes of the program and areas of the program that may need adjustment.
The Council appreciates the effort put into this process, including cooperative managers that voluntarily provide presentations and those that took the initiative to provide a more thorough and comprehensive report.
During Council discussion, it was clarified that even minor Council suggestions for voluntary modifications to the reports are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, requiring a Federal Register announcement, an opportunity for public comments, and clearance through the Office of Management and Budget. This prompted a discussion about opportunities for streamlining the cooperative report process at the Council. The Council asked staff and interested Council members to discuss and report back any ideas for improving the process before the next reporting cycle.
Staff contacts are Jon McCracken and Sarah Marrinan.