In addition to discussing the relative priority of previously tasked projects, the Council initiated new actions and clarified direction and tasking for its various committees. The Council also took the following actions:
- Approved the formation of a Social Science Planning Team.
- Tasked staff to prepare a discussion paper that outlines the steps necessary to allow retention of halibut in pot gear in the BSAI sablefish fishery.
- Tasked staff to prepare a discussion paper that describes best practices for exploratory fishing to inform a precautionary approach to opening commercial fisheries in the Arctic.
- Identified interactions between whales and fisheries as an urgent research priority for review by the groundfish plan teams and SSC.
- Requested that the Executive Director and Chair explore ways to improve dialog with the IPHC by examining the communication and collaborate process used by other international commissions and domestic fishery management bodies.
- Requested annual reports from the AFA and Amendment 80 sectors regarding development of a voluntary cooperative and other bycatch reduction measures in the BSAI TLAS yellowfin sole fishery.
- Directed staff to send letters regarding: 1) conflict of interest recusal determinations; 2) comment letter on Best Scientific Information Available; 3) comment letter on Stock Assessment Improvement Plan; 4) comment letter on the draft Alaska Enforcement Priorities; 5) a request to NMFS for supplementary funds for the observer program; 6) a letter to NMFS and ADF&G requesting assistance in defining self-guided halibut fishermen and creation of a registration system.
Motions are posted on the Council website. Staff contact is David Witherell.