The Council appoints plan teams for each of the major fishery management plans (FMPs). Members of each team are selected from agencies and organizations having a role in the research or management of the affected fisheries. Plan teams are designed to be small enough to work effectively but large enough to have expertise covering all the important aspects of a particular fishery. Individuals on the teams may be nominated by other members of the Plan Team, Council, SSC or AP. Appointments to the team are approved by the Council.
The BSAI and GOA Groundfish Plan Teams provide the Council with review and recommendations of fishery stock assessments, as well as information on ecosystem and economic issues as they relate to the groundfish fisheries of the BSAI and GOA. Plan Teams include Council staff and personnel from the NMFS Regional Office, the Alaska Fishery Science Center, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Washington Department of Fisheries, the International Pacific Halibut Commission, the University of Alaska, the University of Washington, and other institutions and universities. Two Plan Team meetings are held annually, the first prior, to Council’s October meeting, and the second, prior to the Council’s December meeting. The Plan Teams compile annual Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports that provide the Council with a summary of the most recent biological condition of the groundfish stocks and the social and economic condition of the fishing and processing industries. The SAFEs comprise the best available scientific information on the condition of the groundfish stocks, and include overfishing level (OFL) and acceptable biological catch (ABC) recommendations for the Council’s groundfish fisheries.
The Crab Plan Team’s primary function is to provide the Council with the best available scientific information, including scientifically based recommendations regarding appropriate measures for the conservation and management of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) king and Tanner crab fisheries.
Staff contact is Diana Stram, 907-271-2806.
The Salmon Fisheries Management Plan was developed to prohibit directed commercial fishing for salmon in the EEZ except by a limited number of vessels using troll gear. Management of the salmon fisheries is generally deferred to the State of Alaska, Department of Fish and game.
Staff contact is Jim Armstrong, 907-271-2805.
The scallop fishery in federal waters off Alaska is jointly managed by the State of Alaska and the Federal government. Plan Team members include Council staff and personnel from the NMFS Regional Office, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and local universities. While most aspects of scallop management are delegated to the State, Federal requirements for preventing overfishing are under jurisdiction of the Council. The Scallop Plan Team supports Council decision-making by providing ongoing biological advice on scallops such as the overfishing level (OFL) and acceptable biological catch (ABC). A Plan Team meeting is held annually, prior to Council’s April meeting, for the purpose of compiling a Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report. The SAFE comprises the best available scientific information on the past, present, and possible future condition of the scallop stock, the economic condition of the scallop fishery, and an overview of associated ecosystem considerations and concerns.
Staff contact is Jim Armstrong, 907-271-2805.
In 2009, the Council approved, and NMFS implemented, a new Fishery Management Plan for Fish Resources of the Arctic Management Area (Arctic FMP). The Council’s action recognizes the different and changing ecological conditions of the Arctic, including warming trends in ocean temperatures, the loss of seasonal ice cover, and the potential long term effects from these changes on the Arctic marine ecosystem. More prolonged ice-free seasons coupled with warming waters and changing ranges of fish species could together create conditions that could lead to commercial fishery development in the U.S. Arctic Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The emergence of unregulated, or inadequately regulated, commercial fisheries in the Arctic EEZ off Alaska could have adverse effects on the sensitive ecosystem and marine resources of this area, including fish, fish habitat, and non-fish species that inhabit or depend on marine resources of the U.S. Arctic EEZ, and the subsistence way of life of residents of Arctic communities.
Staff contact is Steve MacLean, 907-271-3235.