BSAI ABM PSC limits preliminary analysis
The Council reviewed a preliminary analysis for a draft EIS/RIR of alternatives for abundance-based management (ABM) of BSAI halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits. The analysis centered primarily around a detailed description of the Council’s alternatives, elements and options, and a historical analysis of the application of candidate PSC limits from within the alternative set, to show the behavior of control rule features relative to estimated PSC limits. A narrative description was also included of how the three directly regulated BSAI groundfish sectors approach their fishing year in the context of the various constraints they face, including but not limited to halibut PSC limits. This section was included to provide the context necessary to understand interactions between fisheries, and the factors that drive the decisions made during the year by fleet managers and vessel operators in the Amendment 80 sector, the trawl limited access sector, and the hook-and-line catcher-processor sector.
The Council made a number of changes to the alternative set based upon the preliminary analysis, staff workgroup recommendations, SSC comments, and stakeholder and Advisory Panel input. The current suite of alternatives are the following:
- Alternative 1: No action
- Alternative 2: Single index used to set trawl and/or non-trawl halibut PSC limit.
- Option 1: NMFS EBS bottom trawl survey index.
- Option 2: IPHC Area 4 setline survey index.
- Alternative 3: Primary and secondary indices are used to set trawl and/or non-trawl PSC limit.
- Option 1: Primary index is EBS trawl survey, secondary index is Area 4 setline survey.
- Option 2: Primary index is Area 4 setline survey, secondary index is EBS trawl survey.
- Alternative 4: Use two indices (EBS trawl survey and Area 4 setline survey) to set the non-trawl PSC limit in the form of a look-up table.
A range of elements and options are contained within each of the alternatives. Further detail on these are provided in the Council’s motion as well as direction to analysts on standardization of the indices under the different alternatives, and apportionment of PSC limits to sectors.
BSAI Halibut ABM Stakeholder Committee
The Council moved to form a stakeholder committee that will provide recommendations for the ABM scenarios to be analyzed in the draft EIS/RIR. The Committee will also provide recommendations on measurable objectives and associated performance metrics to be considered by analysts in evaluating trade-offs among alternatives. This committee will meet to draft these scenarios prior to the February Council meeting with an update on the initial committee meeting provided to the Council in December. The committee is intended to include a range of interested stakeholders from both the directed BSAI groundfish and directed Area 4 halibut fisheries. Interested members of the public should submit a letter of interest and brief resume to the Council chairman and Executive Director by October 30th.
Staff contact is Diana Stram.