The Council reviewed a progress report on the observer fee analysis. The Council adopted a purpose and need statement, as well as three action alternatives for the fee analysis:
Alternative 1: Status quo. Observer fee of 1.25% applies equally to all landings in the partial coverage category.
Alternative 2: Increase the observer fee up to 2% (analyze a range), to apply equally to all landings in the partial coverage category.
Alternative 3: Maintain the 1.25% observer fee applying equally to all landings in the partial coverage category, and additionally, raise the fee up to 2% (analyze a range) by gear sector (longline, pot, jig, trawl).
The Council supports the analytical approach presented by staff, which outlines the milestones for the earliest implementation date in 2021. In addition, the Council recommended that the analysis include a discussion of the relative impacts of the alternatives with respect to Council policy objectives for monitoring beyond base thresholds. The Council supported placing the observer fee analysis as the first priority for observer tasking projects in Council review.
The Council requested the OAC and OAC subgroup review and provide input on the Analysis prior to initial review by the Council. Initial coordination with the OAC is planned in May, with an opportunity for further coordination expected in September of 2018.
The Council motion is available online, and staff contact is Elizabeth Figus.