The Council discussed the relative priority and scheduling of previously tasked projects, and provided guidance to the Chair and Executive Director about which items to prioritize for December and subsequent meetings. The revised 3 meeting outlook reflects this guidance, along with the posted December eAgenda. In addition to must-do items in December (BSAI and GOA groundfish specifications, 2021 Charter halibut management measures, and the Cook Inlet Salmon FMP amendment final action), the Council will review two initial review analyses for a BSAI Pacific cod Trawl Catcher Vessel LAPP and a BSAI Pacific cod Pot Catcher Processor Recency action. Council meetings, including Plan Team and Committee meetings will be held virtually for the remainder of the calendar year and likely into 2021.
The Council directed staff to write a letter to the U.S. Coast Guard, thanking them for the thorough briefing on recent Russian military activities in the U.S. EEZ that involved interactions with U.S. fishing vessels, and highlighting the alarm that this situation created for U.S. vessels. The Council recommends that the Coast Guard consider additional ways to improve communication with vessels and communities in the future.
The Council also recognized the additional difficulties sustained by vessel and shoreside observers in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and very much appreciates the dedication of individuals who nonetheless continued their critical work in support of sound science for the management of sustainable fisheries.
Finally, the Council will consider appointments for the SSC, AP, and PNCIAC in December, for which a call for nominations has been posted.