The Ecosystem Committee met in March to discuss a variety of issues, including the Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan reports (see separate newsletter article) as well as other agenda items. The Council made the following response on specific issues:
- Area-based management: The Council requested that NPFMC representatives provide specific recommendations at the Council Coordination Committee (CCC) in May, to highlight the need for GIS funding to support the closure area categorization work underway through the CCC Subcommittee. The Council also recommends that the CCC Subcommittee report highlight the importance of ground-up collaborations in identifying appropriate closure areas.
- GOA Ecosystem scoping: The Council tasked the Ecosystem Committee with some preliminary scoping work to evaluate lessons learned from the Bering Sea FEP process, and needs in the GOA, in preparation for eventual Council interest in initiating a GOA FEP or some similar tool.
- PSEIS/Groundfish management policy: The Council requested staff to provide an assessment later this year of resources necessary for a review of the PSEIS, which typically begins with development of a Supplemental Information Review.
The Committee also wanted to highlight the following funding opportunities available under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:
- Habitat restoration projects that increase resilience for coastal communities, or provide for fish passage, through the NOAA Restoration Center
- Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund opportunities
- Projects to create and restore natural systems for current and future threats from coastal hazards, through the National Coastal Resilience Fund
Staff contact is Diana Evans.