The Council discussed the relative priority and scheduling of previously tasked projects, as well as the following issues.
- The Council also received a presentation on proposed regulations governing Council member recusal, and directed staff to develop a comment letter for Council consideration at the February Council meeting.
- The Council agreed to send a letter to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and USCG regarding using AIS identification on fishing gear. If appropriate, the Council requested that the Council letter be coordinated with the Pacific and Western Pacific Councils.
- The Council also tasked staff with developing a discussion paper to evaluate participation and effort in the Bering Sea Pacific cod pot catcher processor fishery in response to a potential need to limit entry and participation in the fishery.
Committees and advisory groups:
- During staff tasking, the Council received the report of its Enforcement Committee, who met on December 4th. The committee received a presentation from Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) on results from an anonymous survey of all observers who deployed in the North Pacific Observer Program in 2016 and 2017. The committee also reviewed its terms of reference, and the Council’s enforcement precepts which were previously developed by the Committee.
- The Council approved the following upcoming committee agendas:
- Ecosystem Committee will meet in February to receive and discuss the annual update from the Marine Mammal Lab on conservation status of Alaskan marine mammals, an update on Ocean Acidification Science in Alaska, and develop a list of areas of focus for the next two years for Council review.
- Community Engagement Committee: staff is developing a draft Terms of Reference to review with the Committee in the spring.
- Enforcement Committee will meet in April to review: 1) sablefish discards discussion paper, 2) non-guided halibut rental boat registration initial review document, and 3) review the Trawl Electronic Monitoring Committee’s cooperative research plan for 2019.
- The Council issued solicitations for a processor representative on the Cook Inlet Salmon Committee, and an Area 2C representative on the Charter Halibut Management Committee.
- The Council appointed new members to three Plan Teams (BSAI Groundfish Plan Team, BS FEP Team, and Social Science Planning Team), the Ecosystem Committee, and announced SSC and Advisory Panel appointments for 2019.