The Council took final action recommending amendments to the BSAI crab, salmon, and scallop FMPs, to make them consistent with national guidance on Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodologies. The Council determined that existing bycatch reporting requirements in fisheries managed under these FMPs are consistent with SBRM requirements, however, the language in the FMPs needs to be modified to explicitly identify a SBRM in each fishery and explain how it meets the purpose of collecting, recording, and reporting bycatch. These amendments are necessary to increase transparency about how the SBRM in each fishery is consistent with national guidance.
The MSA requires FMPs to establish a standardized reporting methodology (SBRM) to assess the amount and type of bycatch occurring in the fishery and include conservation and management measures that minimize bycatch and minimize the mortality of bycatch which cannot be avoided. National guidance set out in the Final Rule defines SBRM as an “established, consistent procedure or procedures used to collect, record, and report bycatch data in a fishery.” SBRMs may include one or more combination of data collection and reporting programs such as observer programs, electronic monitoring, and industry reports (e.g. landing reports or “fish tickets”).
The analysis evaluated the BSAI crab, scallop, and salmon FMPs in relation to the national guidance about SBRM requirements. In February 2020, the Council had previously determined that its Arctic, BSAI Groundfish, and GOA Groundfish FMPs are already in compliance with current SBRM guidance and that no amendments are necessary for those FMPs. The Final Rule established a deadline of February 2022 for FMPs to be in compliance with guidance on SBRM.
Staff contact is Sara Cleaver.