The Council reviewed an exempted fishing permit (EFP) application on Implementing Electronic Monitoring systems in the Eastern Bering Sea (EBS) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Pollock Pelagic Trawl Catcher Vessel Fisheries and recommended that the EFP be approved, taking into account recommendations of the SSC and the Trawl EM Committee.
This EFP would exempt participating pollock pelagic trawl catcher vessels in the EBS and GOA from regulations related to vessel discard requirements and onboard observer coverage. These exemptions are necessary for participating vessels to achieve maximized retention for all harvested species and to fully test the use of EM as a compliance monitoring tool for ensuring no salmon are discarded at sea. The EFP facilitates the Council’s long-term vision and ongoing commitment to a trawl EM program.
The Council noted that the EFP application was extremely thorough and developed in a collaborative manner between the applicants and multiple NMFS divisions.
During staff tasking, the Council also endorsed the description of the scope and purpose of Council monitoring committees including the Trawl EM Committee, and discussed scheduling for upcoming meetings.
Staff contact is Anna Henry.