The Council reviewed proposals that stakeholders submitted in response to an October 2017 call for public comment on measures to manage the commercial salmon fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) adjacent to Cook Inlet. The Council is amending the FMP in order to incorporate the Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishery in the EEZ, currently managed entirely by the State of Alaska, into the Federal Salmon FMP.
The Council also reviewed NOAA General Counsel guidance on the geographic scope of federal authority under the Salmon FMP, specifically to the questions below:
- Did the Ninth Circuit in UCIDA v. NMFS hold that the Council and NMFS must prepare an FMP amendment that includes salmon fisheries conducted within State waters of Cook Inlet?
- Does the Magnuson-Stevens Act authorize and require the Council to prepare an FMP amendment that includes salmon fisheries occurring within State waters of Cook Inlet?
According to General Counsel, the answer to both questions is “No”. A rationale for that answer is provided in a memo to the Council provided at the April meeting.
A further letter to the Council addressed the question of whether or not it is necessary to include in the FMP the salmon sport fishery that occurs in the EEZ waters of Upper Cook Inlet. The answer to this question was left for the Council to determine at a later date.
Finally, the Council is initiating a CALL FOR NOMINATIONS for membership on the Cook Inlet Salmon Committee. The Committee’s primary function will be to (1) review and provide comments on specific, Council-identified issues; (2) develop options for fishery management measures for specific, Council-identified management needs, and (3) provide perspectives on potential social and economic impacts of proposed fishery management measures. The Council will accept nominations and applications for membership on the Committee until noon (Alaska time), June 1, 2018. If interested, please send a letter of interest and brief resume to email@example.com or mail to:
North Pacific Fishery Management Council
605 West 4th Avenue, Suite 306
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2252
If you have previously applied to be on the Committee, your application is on file with us and YOU DO NOT HAVE TO RE-APPLY.
After reviewing the nominations, the Council Chair will appoint members to the Committee to achieve a representative group of stakeholders to accomplish the Committee’s purpose and scope of work. The Council Chair will also appoint a Council member to serve as the Committee Chair. The first Committee meeting is likely to be scheduled for the fall of 2018.
The motion is available here. Staff contact is Jim Armstrong.