The Council conducted its annual review of the Programmatic Groundfish Management Policy, as required under the GOA and BSAI Groundfish FMPs. The management policy was added to the FMPs through the 2004 Programmatic SEIS and reflects the Council’s vision for management of these fisheries from an ecosystem-based management perspective. The Council’s anticipation that management of the groundfish fisheries will always be a dynamic process was built into the management policy and so annual review was identified as a necessary tool to ensure that management continues to be adaptive to changes in the fisheries and ecosystem. More specifically, annual review allows the Council to evaluate the adequacy of the Policy relative to current issues and concerns such that revisions, if necessary, can be identified. It also allows the Council to review its numerous actions and statements and whether those are fulfilling the Policy. Finally, it provides a framework for revision to the Council’s workplan for the coming year.
This year’s review highlighted Council activities in 2017 that were relevant to the Groundfish Management Policy. The Council recognized the ecosystem-based management response to the change in GOA Pcod stock conditions, the re-categorization of squid to the ecosystem component category, ongoing projects under the observer program, halibut abundance-based management, progress in conservation of northern fur seals, ongoing sector reports, and outreach to the community on St Paul Island, among many other issues to be consistent with priorities and objectives in the Policy. Additionally, it was pointed out that each Council agenda includes many non-action items that parallel or directly fulfill the Policy. As with previous review in April 2017, the Council determined that the PSEIS continues to be appropriate as a guiding document and chose not to initiate any amendments to the Policy. Furthermore, the Council found that its actions over the past year and pending actions for the current year continue to fulfill the Policy and did not feel that new Council actions needed to be initiated.
Staff contact is Jim Armstrong.