The Council conducted a comprehensive review of the Programmatic Groundfish Management Policy, highlighting Council activities in 2018 that were relevant to priorities and objectives established in the Policy. The Management Policy was added to the Groundfish FMPs in 2004 through a programmatic SEIS and established the Council’s ongoing vision for management of these fisheries within an ecosystem-based management perspective.
Looking back on its accomplishments in 2018, the Council recognized the reclassification of squid to the ecosystem component category, regular USCG and NIOSH reports, specification of ABC below maxABC, a wide range of bycatch reduction measures, protected species reports, the 5-year EFH review, cooperative reports, community outreach, and improvements to the observer program, among many other issues, to be consistent with priorities and objectives in the policy. It was noted that Council actions that result in regulatory or FMP amendments usually take several Council meetings from the point of initiation to final action, and Council meeting agendas include many non-action items that parallel or directly fulfill the Policy. Additionally, a number of major Council initiatives outside of the Groundfish FMPs, such as the Arctic FMP and the AI and BS FEPs, both fulfill and improve on the EBFM approach described in the Policy.
The Council determined that the policy continues to appropriately characterize management priorities and objectives and chose not to initiate any FMP amendments to modify the policy. For future reviews, the Council will continue to monitor Council actions relative to policy objectives through the programmatic workplan, which is provided at every Council meeting. Comprehensive reviews of the policy will be done on a three-year cycle in order to align the reviews with the multi-year lifespan of major Council actions.
Staff contact is Jim Armstrong.