The Council supported SSC guidance on the application of the risk tables for the fall groundfish assessment cycle. Previously, the Council had asked to review SSC advice on the risk table coming out of the February 2021 SSC Risk Table workshop. The purpose of the workshop was for the SSC to provide feedback to stock assessment authors and Plan Teams, and to determine the SSC’s plan to assess risk table performance. The SSC prepared a summary of the workshop, and at its June meeting the SSC used the workshop report as a basis to provide guidance on the development and use of risk tables in the fall assessment cycle. The updated version of the report reflects the SSC’s most current recommendations regarding Risk Tables.
The Council specifically supported SSC recommendations to provide risk tables during each full assessment, and delay of application of the risk table to the crab specifications process until further progress is made on groundfish. In addition, the Council motion requests the SSC consider the following when developing its final recommendations in October:
- Include description of any new or modified concern categories, including whether positive stock trends should be included as similar ‘concerns’.
- Request the SSC consider the roles of the stock authors and/or Plan Teams in presenting risk, and the role of the SSC in making specific recommendations on potential reductions from maxABC, if appropriate.
- Clear language relative to SSC guidance that the risk tables are intended to inform the SSC determination of adjusting ABC from maximum permissible when needed. Previous reductions to maxABC should not be the basis for reducing maxABC unless relevant risk factors for a stock continue to be present.
It is anticipated that the Plan Teams will review the SSC and Council guidance at the September Plan Team meetings, provide any additional input, and the guidance for using risk tables in 2021 assessments will be finalized in October. Consideration of risk and its incorporation into the assessment process will continue to be regularly reviewed by the Council and SSC.
Staff contact is Sara Cleaver.