North Pacific Fishery Management Council FAQ
With all the papers, people, and scheduling, Council meetings can be pretty confusing to those who are new to the process. These are a few answers to the most common questions we receive about the Council meetings and process. Feel free to call the office for more information at 907-271-2809, or contact us.
How do I know which meeting to go to?
There are three major meetings that make up a typical North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting. The Scientific and Statistical Committee (the SSC) and the Advisory Panel (AP) take up the same agenda the Council does—they just begin a day or two in advance so they can provide their recommendations to the Council. The SSC is made up of scientists and economists and the AP’s membership covers a variety of fishing industry sectors as well as conservation groups. Representatives on the SSC, Council, and AP are from Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. The public can comment in each meeting, but usually, a person will choose to comment in the AP and repeat his or her comment in the Council meeting.
Where can I get a copy of the Agenda?
The NPFMC process has gone paperless! The Council members, SSC, AP, and staff refer to the meeting materials in digital format on our Council electronic agenda at meetings.npfmc.org. You can get copies of every document and presentation through the Agenda link that is posted electronically on our website. We also have tablet stands in the meeting room for your use if you do not have a personal device.
What do all these acronyms stand for?
Here is a list of our commonly used acronyms and abbreviations and their definitions. We will continually keep this list updated; however, if you find one, not on the list, don’t hesitate to contact our admin staff.
How do I know when the item I am interested in will be discussed?
The AGENDA provides brief information on the items to be discussed. The SCHEDULE gives the order and a general time of when the items will be discussed in each of the three meetings. Sometimes the Chairperson of each meeting will announce that an issue will be taken at a specific time; usually called “time certain.”
Otherwise, discussion on an item can run over a specified amount of time, or on occasion, finish early. It is good to view the schedule as a guideline. If you have questions or have to catch a flight later in the day, you may want to check with a staff member. Usually, they have a general idea as to how long an agenda item may continue. You can also listen in during the meeting by clicking the MEETING link.
How do I make a public comment?
There are two ways to provide comments, submit a written comment before the meeting or testify in person at the meeting. Public comments for the current Council meeting can be submitted online at meetings.npfmc.org, prior to the meeting. You can sign up to testify at a meeting prior to the end of the agenda item by signing up at meetings.npfmc.org, you may also provide documentation to support your testimony by uploading the attachment to the e-portal. Because of time constraints, in-person public comment testimony is limited to 3 minutes for individuals and 6 minutes for groups/organizations.
How do I find out the results of the meeting? Are the minutes available?
The AP and the SSC finish their meetings before the Council does, and their draft minutes are available once their meetings are completed. A representative from the SSC and the AP use them to give a report to the Council, and copies will be posted to the Agenda under the B-items titled “SSC or AP Report”. Since the AP and the SSC are only advisory bodies, their minutes are much more “informal.”
The Council does not have “minutes” but rather each agenda item that has a motion is available through links on that agenda item. A Council Meeting Summary containing all motions considered and voted on is prepared between meetings and posted to the Agenda as soon as it is available.
The Newsletter provides a comprehensive summary of a majority of the actions the Council took and can provide you with contact information for a specific issue, and in some cases direct you to a specific website for detailed information or a motion. Newsletters are generally available a week following the meeting.
How do I get notified of Meetings and Newsletters
You can subscribe to receive an electronic Agenda and Newsletter as soon as they’re available by adding your email to our mailing list located at the bottom of our homepage.