In addition to discussing the relative priority and scheduling of previously tasked projects, the Council requested staff prepare a series of letters to NMFS:
- providing feedback on the National Bycatch Report.
- providing feedback on the National Observer Safety Report that was recently issued, emphasizing the need for regionally-based response.
- requesting additional funding for observer days in the Council’s partial coverage observer program and staffing support for the Observer Program to support analytical work requested by the Council for program amendments
- to the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), prioritizing options for survey deployment should limited funding be available in 2019 and 2020. A subgroup of the Council’s SSC met with AFSC staff in September, and prepared a report which was endorsed by the Council and the full SSC. The letter will re-emphasize the Council and SSC’s continued designation of a full complement of vessels to conduct annual bottom trawl surveys in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska, as critical ongoing monitoring.
Additionally, the Council discussed the following issues:
- Formation of a halibut stakeholder committee, and guidance for the terms of reference for that committee.
- A staff report on public workshops, with the intention of considering workshops in the future for public engagement on appropriate topics.
- The agenda for the Joint Protocol Committee, and some additional updates that may be relevant for discussion with the Board of Fish representatives.
- Inclusion in the BSAI Pacific cod allocation workshop of an evaluation of the <60 sector.
- Prioritization of observer analytical tasks, and direction to the Fishery Monitoring Advisory Committee to consider analyses that address observer coverage on vessels delivering to tenders.
- Appointments to the Social Science Planning Team and the Community Engagement Committee, as well as Council member appointments to the Joint Protocol Committee and the Cook Inlet Salmon FMP Committee.
Staff contact is Diana Evans.