The Council reviewed a workplan for addressing October 2019 SSC comments on the BSAI Halibut Abundance-based Management (ABM) Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) limits management action analysis, and provided feedback on prioritizing tasks to facilitate Council review of the analysis in June 2020.
The Council continues to consider proposed management measures to index Pacific halibut PSC limits in the BSAI groundfish fisheries to halibut abundance. The alternatives include PSC limit modifications for various groundfish sectors, including the BSAI trawl limited access sector (TLAS), the Amendment 80 sector, longline catcher vessels (CVs), longline catcher processors (CPs), and the Community Development Quota (CDQ) sector (i.e., a reduction to the CDQ’s allocated prohibited species quota reserve). At this meeting, staff was provided an overview of their plans for addressing SSC comments and any additional workload issues for revising the draft analysis.
Following review and discussion, the Council directed staff to prioritize the following tasks from the work plan, to facilitate Council review of the analysis in June 2020:
- Low and alternative recruitment scenarios and 30:20 harvest control rule simulation
- PSC usage assumptions
- Analysis of control rule scenarios recommended by stakeholders
To the extent possible, staff will also address all other aspects of the SSC comments in the revised analysis.
The Council further requested an opportunity, at the upcoming January/February 2020 Council meeting, for stakeholders to provide input on additional management alternatives that serve to streamline the action and meet the Council’s objectives to establish abundance-based PSC limits that minimize halibut PSC to the extent practicable, and aid the directed halibut fisheries at low levels of abundance. The Council may then consider revisions to the suite of alternatives, understanding that requesting additional analysis to be included in the June 2020 draft will be contingent upon the scope of the requested changes. An interactive spreadsheet of the current stakeholder scenarios is available as a tool for understanding the behavior of these alternatives, and to help the public in developing any modifications for February. Input from stakeholders on modifications to the alternative set can be submitted through the public comment portal for the Council’s January/February agenda.
Staff contact is Diana Stram.