EFH Fishing Effects Methods
The Council reviewed and approved a proposed method to evaluate the effects of fishing on Essential Fish Habitat for BSAI and GOA Groundfish and BSAI crabs, developed by a subcommittee of the SSC. The proposal presented a three-tiered approach to evaluating the effects of commercial fishing on EFH using the outputs from the Fishing Effects model developed by NMFS AKR and Alaska Pacific University researchers. This method makes use of substantial new habitat, sediment, and oceanographic data available since the last EFH review. Stock assessment authors will apply the new methods in January and February 2017, the results of their assessment will be reviewed by the BSAI and GOA Groundfish Plan Teams in March 2017, and by the Council in April 2017 as part of the Omnibus EFH package. Staff contact is Steve MacLean.
EFH Non-Fishing Effects Report
The Council reviewed a report by NMFS AKR Habitat Conservation Division on the projected effects of non-fishing activities on Essential Fish Habitat. The report summarizes expected impacts on EFH from headwater streams to the offshore marine environments, and presents examples of mitigation measures that NMFS might suggest for projects in those environments with the potential to adversely affect EFH. The report will be finalized by NMFS and included as part of the Omnibus EFH package that the Council will review in April 2017. Staff contact is Steve MacLean.