The Council received a report on the Final Observer Program 2019 Annual Deployment Plan (ADP), which highlighted changes to the document since the Council’s review of the Draft ADP in October.
The Final ADP uses the Council’s recommended deployment strata and a coverage allocation scheme of 15% plus optimized allocation based on discarded groundfish and halibut PSC and Chinook PSC, which results in the following deployment rates by strata:
- No selection – 0%
- EM – 30%
- Trawl – 24%
- Hook-and-line – 18%
- Pot – 15%
- Tender trawl – 27%
- Tender pot – 16%
The Final 2019 ADP noted NMFS has approved all 168 vessels that requested to participate in the EM trip selection pool for 2019, consistent with the Council’s October recommendation to expand the EM pool. Of the total 168 vessels requesting to be in the EM selection pool, 27 requested to participate for the first time. An additional 4 vessels will participate in EM innovation and research, a separate category. NMFS also included Sitka on the list of ‘primary ports’ for EM deployment in 2019.
Appendix E of the Final 2019 ADP provides additional information about the cost structure under the observer contract and how costs may be expected to fluctuate at different funding levels, which was also requested by the Council in October.
Staff contact for observer issues is Elizabeth Figus.