The Council received an update from staff on preliminary development of a Salmon FMP amendment that would extend federal management authority to three traditional net fishing areas that are located in federal waters, but are currently exempt from the FMP. The Council chose to sequence its action by focusing initially on Cook Inlet, and is requesting written proposals from the public on proposed management areas.
Progress thus far has been through information provided in two discussion papers. The initial paper (April 2017) laid out the history and scope of the issue for the Council to recommend preliminary alternatives, and the expanded discussion paper presented at the October 2017 meeting analyzed options under the alternative Federal/State or Federal only management approaches currently under consideration. The options addressed in the expanded discussion paper represent way to address specific Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA) requirements for federal FMPs. The MSA requirements and corresponding options are summarized in Table ES 1-1 in the discussion paper’s executive summary, and are addressed in further detail in Chapter 2 of the discussion paper.
As part of its decision to initiate the amendment, the Council indicated it would create a stakeholder workgroup to assist in development of options. An evening outreach meeting was held during the October Council meeting week to discuss the formation of the workgroup and the issues that it should consider. A summary of the meeting was provided to the Council, and the discussion provided a very useful picture of the range of public positions on the action.
After reviewing the expanded discussion paper, and informed by public testimony, the Council took action to solicit written proposals from the public to help further the development of the management measures for the FMP amendment. Additionally, the Council chose to limit the scope of the first amendment to only the traditional net fishing area in federal waters that is located in Cook Inlet. The amendment was originally going to comprehensively address all three traditional net areas in Prince William Sound and South Peninsula. The Council felt, however, that focusing on Cook Inlet in this action would 1) be consistent with instruction provided in the District Court’s judgement, 2) directly address the area that has been at the center of the litigative history of this action, and 3) inform, and possibly streamline development of a future action that would apply to the other two traditional net areas.
Request for Written Proposals
The Council is amending the Salmon FMP to include the traditional net fishing area in Cook Inlet within the management unit (see figure below). The Council intends, at a future meeting, to form a Salmon Committee that will include stakeholders and will assist the development of the amendment by reviewing and recommending measures necessary to satisfy Section 303(a) of the MSA and related MSA provisions.
To develop the scope of work for the Salmon Committee, the Council is soliciting written proposals from the public to help the Council identify specific required conservation and management measures for the Salmon Committee to evaluate relevant to the development of options for a fishery management plan amendment. Further resources and reference materials can be found on the Salmon FMP page on the Council’s website. PROPOSAL DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 1, 2018, Please submit written proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org.