The Council reviewed the compliance of all of its FMPs with Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology requirements that are mandated in the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), and tasked FMP amendment analyses for three FMPs.
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. The national guidance included in the Final Rule defines SBRM as an “established, consistent procedure or procedures used to collect, record, and report bycatch data in a fishery.” Regulations require that any FMP must identify the required procedure that constitutes the standardized reporting methodology for the fishery and explain how the procedure meets the purpose to collect, record, and report bycatch data. SBRMs could 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 report evaluated each FMP in relation to national guidance set out in the Final Rule addressing SBRM requirements. The Council determined that the Arctic, BSAI Groundfish, and GOA Groundfish FMPs are all in compliance with current SBRM guidance and that no amendments are necessary for those FMPs. The Council initiated an analysis to implement FMP amendments for the BSAI Crab FMP and the Scallop FMP. The amendments would 1) explicitly identify a SBRM and explain how it meets the SBRM purpose, and 2) address the four SBRM components, consistent with national guidance. Additionally, in developing the amendment to the Salmon FMP to address Cook Inlet, the Council will ensure that the SBRM is explicitly identified in the FMP as part of that amendment. The Amendments that fulfill SBRM compliance for the Crab, Scallop, and Salmon FMPs would need to be completed prior to the February 2022 deadline.
Staff contact is Sara Cleaver.