In accordance with Council procedures, the SSC and Council review research priorities each year at the Council’s June meeting. Prior to Council review, the Council’s GOA and BSAI Groundfish, BSAI Crab, and Scallop Plan Teams review existing research priorities and make recommendations for modifications or additions, as needed. Following the June meeting, the updated five-year research priorities are provided to the Secretary of Commerce, the Alaska Fishery Science Center, as well as research and funding entities.
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s research priorities cover a wide range of topics and are organized and managed within a publicly accessible database (https://research.psmfc.org/). Ranking of research topics is done using four priority categories that are defined to emphasize the correspondence of research to the Council’s time horizon of management concerns. The current list of Council research priorities, as identified at the June 2018 Council meeting, is on the Council’s website (www.npfmc.org).
Following last year’s review, the Council expressed a desire to streamline its annual review process, and as a part of that, the Council’s Plan Teams identified a small number of projects to raise to consideration for a “top ten” list. The SSC reviewed and proposed an amalgamated “top ten” list, which the Council reviewed and endorsed. The SSC also provided the Council with a preamble that emphasizes the importance of research categorized as “critical ongoing monitoring” so that the “top ten” do not overshadow the projects that are required for the Council to fulfill its mission.
Staff also reported on progress related to the coordination of Council and NPRB supported research. The NPRB and the Council will be modifying their databases in order to synchronize records by research topic and also provide access to funding and reporting relative to the progress on and completion of specific research projects.
Finally, the Council adopted new research priorities intended to develop a framework of the types of social/economic data that could be helpful when conducting the 2021 allocation review for the Halibut Catch Sharing Plan. The Council‘s two additional research priorities, categorized as Urgent, are:
- Develop comparable measures of net value, total value, and economic impacts for the Area 2C and 3A charter and commercial halibut fisheries.
- Conduct ethnographic research and collect information on the indirect effects of the Area 2C and 3A charter and commercial halibut fishing.
Staff contact is Jim Armstrong.