Appointments | Call for Nominations | SSC Workshop | Snow Crab Rebuilding | BSAI Crab | Vessel Use Cap | EFH 5-Year Review | BSAI Pot CP | AIGKC Use Caps | PSEIS | Groundfish Stock Prioritization | Trawl EM Committee | Universal Data Collection | CCTF Resiliency | Staff Tasking
Advisory PanelThe Council appointed Shawaan Jackson-Gamble to the Advisory Panel to fill the new, designated Alaska Native Tribal seat. The Council wants to acknowledge all the well-qualified nominees put forward by Tribes and Tribal Consortia from across the state for the designated Alaska Native Tribal seat. The Council also really appreciated the many letters of support submitted for the various candidates. The Council considered all the materials when making its decision. Shawaan Gamble-Jackson has been appointed to serve a three-year term that is pro-rated to begin at the Council’s April 2023 Council meeting.
CommitteesScott McKelvey was appointed as an Area 2C representative on the Charter Halibut Management Committee.
Call for NominationsThe Council is soliciting nominations for the following representation to provide expertise on Electronic Monitoring (EM) programs on the Fisheries Monitoring Advisory Committee (FMAC): shoreside processing, full coverage EM, and Western Gulf of Alaska EM fisheries. The FMAC convenes industry members, agency representatives, and observer providers to advise the Council on issues related to monitoring in the North Pacific halibut and groundfish fisheries. With expanded representation, the FMAC can provide oversight on all regulated monitoring programs including both observer and EM as well as provide formal recommendations regarding prioritization of future EM projects. The FMAC typically meets once per year, though additional meetings may occur as needed. The next meeting will be in May 2023 (exact dates and location are still being determined but will be posted on the Council calendar as soon as possible). The FMAC agenda will include a discussion of how EM issues are addressed at FMAC meetings. The Council also recommended that a specific EM subcommittee be identified by the FMAC, as needed, when specific EM projects arise that require more involved Council engagement.
Please submit a letter of interest describing how your experience and background relates to one or more of the above to Sara Cleaver (Council staff) by close of business on March 31. (firstname.lastname@example.org; 907-271-2809).
SSC WorkshopThe SSC hosted a workshop at the February meeting on “Rapid change in the northern Bering and southern Chukchi Seas: Identifying ecosystem responses and effects on the management of Federal fisheries.” The goal was to begin identifying what work is needed to develop the scientific basis for managing Bering Sea fish stocks in a time of unprecedented changes and given the expanding footprint of Bering Sea fish populations. The workshop allowed open discussions among SSC members and expert presenters, and also provided opportunities for a wide variety public input and dialogue on the challenges the Council faces. Presentations given at the workshop are available on the . The workshop was organized around three sessions: assessing our current understanding of the major changes occurring in the northern Bering Sea that affect all components of the ecosystem (Session 1), identifying some of the critical gaps, and research and monitoring needs, to adequately assess ecosystem status and trends (Session 2), and finally assessing whether the tools and approaches that are currently used to manage Bering Sea fish and crab stocks, including assessment models, the tier system and current harvest control rules, are adequate to deal with the management challenges that arise under increased uncertainty, or whether we need to consider novel approaches to deal with a rapidly changing, and increasingly non-stationary environment (Session 3).
The SSC workshop is intended as the beginning of an emerging dialogue among the SSC, the Council, scientists and other knowledge holders working and living in the northern Bering Sea, and other interested persons. The SSC is preparing a report for Council review. The SSC is accepting additional public comments through the end of February, which will be incorporated into the workshop report for the Council. Public comment can be provided through a link on the .
Snow Crab RebuildingAt this meeting, the Council took final action on an analysis for an amendment to the BSAI Crab Fishery Management Plan (FMP) to rebuild the Eastern Bering Sea (EBS) snow crab stock in compliance with section 304(e)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The impacts of the alternatives on EBS snow crab, fishery participants, habitat, and other components of the human environment are described in the environmental assessment. After reviewing the final review draft analysis, the Council selected the following as their preferred alternative (in bold): Alternative 1: No Action
Alternative 2: Adopt a rebuilding plan and specify a target rebuilding time not to exceed TMAX, as recommended by the SSC. The stock will be considered “rebuilt” once it reaches BMSY.Option 1: No directed fishing until the stock is rebuilt, allow bycatch removals only
The Council recommends removing from the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Fishery Management Plan for King and Tanner Crabs rebuilding programs that have since been rebuilt or replaced. These include BS Tanner crab (declared overfished March 3, 1999), BS snow crab (declared overfished September 24, 1999), and St. Matthew blue king crab (declared overfished September 24, 1999).
As noted by the Council, the EBS snow crab stock has rapidly declined and is now considered overfished by the NMFS. This has led the Council to develop a rebuilding plan in accordance with the MSA and national standard guidelines. The preferred alternative proposed by the Council is Alternative 2/option 2, which sets a target time (Ttarget) for rebuilding the EBS snow crab stock at 6 years. This target is consistent with the range set in accordance with the National Standard 1 guidelines, of a minimum rebuilding time (Tmin) of 6 years and maximum time (Tmax) of 10 years. The stock will be considered rebuilt when it reaches the BMSY in one year. The preferred alternative allows for a directed snow crab fishery under the state harvest strategy, which is important for fishing communities and which received public support. Finally, the proposed rebuilding plan is consistent with the National Standard guidelines for rebuilding stocks and minimizing bycatch.As part of final action on the amendment, the Council also reviewed a housekeeping change to language in the BSAI King and Tanner crab FMP, to remove reference to three outdated/inapplicable crab rebuilding plans (see section 3.8 of the rebuilding plan analysis). These outdated/inapplicable rebuilding plans include the BS Tanner crab that was declared overfished on March 3, 1999, Bering Sea snow crab that was declared overfished on September 24, 1999, and St. Matthew blue king crab that was declared overfished on September 24, 1999. All these crab rebuilding plans are no longer needed in the crab FMP since these species are either rebuilt (i.e., Bering Sea Tanner crab), are being replaced with a new rebuilding plan (i.e., EBS snow crab) or have already been superseded by a new rebuilding plan (i.e., St. Matthew blue king crab). Staff contacts are Jon McCracken and Sarah Rheinsmith.
BSAI CrabThe Council received an overview of the 2023 stock assessment for Norton Sound red king crab (NSRKC) and set specifications. The Council adopted SSC recommendations of a total catch OFL with an ABC buffer of 30%. The Council specified 2023 NSRKC OFL at 0.31 thousand t (0.68 million lb.) and an ABC of 0.22 thousand metric tons (0.48 million pounds) for NSRKC.
The updated BSAI Crab SAFE chapter for NSRKC indicates that the 2022 mature male biomass (MMB) crab is 2.40 thousand metric tons, which is above BMSY (1.90 thousand metric tons) but above the minimum stock size threshold (MSST) (0.95 thousand metric tons), and, therefore, the stock not overfished. Additionally, because the 2022 total catch mortality (0.16 thousand t) was less than the OFL (0.30 thousand t), overfishing did not occur.Other topics covered at the January BSAI Crab Plan Team meeting and reviewed by the SSC, AP, and Council included modeling scenarios for the May 2023 stock assessment for Aleutian Islands golden king crab and Pribilof Island golden king crab, survey planning and data collection, the 2022 crab economic SAFE, a Crab Plan Team workshop on the GMACS modeling framework, snow crab rebuilding final action report, and crab conservation prioritization as recommended by the Council in . Following Council review of Crab Plan Team input on crab conservation prioritization, no action was taken. However, it was noted that the continued exploration of management alternatives in which to mitigate crab stock decline will continue by the Council. Staff contact is Sarah Rheinsmith.
Area 4 Vessel Use Cap Interim MeasuresThe Council took final action to remove vessel cap limitations for IFQ halibut harvested in Areas 4A, 4B, 4C and 4D through the 2027 fishing season. If the Council takes subsequent action to permanently modify vessel cap limits in area 4, such action will supersede this removal if implemented before 2027. The affected vessel caps were included in the development of the IFQ program to prevent large amounts of IFQ from being fished on only a few vessels and are specified in Federal Regulations: “No vessel may be used, during any fishing year, to harvest more IFQ halibut than one-half percent of the combined total catch limits of halibut for IFQ regulatory areas 2C, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E” and “No vessel may be used, during any fishing year, to harvest more than 50,000 lb (22.7 mt) of IFQ halibut derived from QS held by a CQE” (50 CFR § 679.42(h)(1)). The Council was in agreement that vessel caps be removed temporarily to provide relief for areas that have experienced reduced harvesting and processing capacity in recent years; while the Council works on a longer term solution to adjust vessel caps in area 4 initiated in June 2022. The Council agreed that vessel cap limitations are a central component of the IFQ program and that extending the exemption through 2027 did not signal that the longer term solution was less of a priority, but rather to provide a longer buffer in the event of unexpected delays in the Council or implementation process. Staff contact is Anna Henry.
EFH 5-Year ReviewThe Council reviewed the summary report of a 5-year review of essential fish habitat (EFH) components of the Council’s Fishery Management Plans (FMPs), initiated an analysis at this meeting to update the Council’s BSAI Groundfish, GOA Groundfish, BSAI King and Tanner Crab, Salmon, and Arctic FMPs’ descriptions and maps of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The proposed alternatives are detailed below:
Alternative 1: No action/status quo. Do not amend the EFH sections of the FMPs with new EFH information identified in the 2023 5-year Review. Alternative 2. Amend the Council’s FMPs to incorporate the updated EFH information based on the new and best available science information identified in the 2023 EFH 5-year Review.
- EFH component 1 (descriptions and identification), Amend 4 FMPs to update EFH descriptions and maps, including up to EFH Level 3 information on habitat-related vital rates. Add or revise the EFH text description and add or replace the maps for—
- 41 species or complexes in the BSAI FMP,
- 46 species or complexes in the GOA FMP,
- all five species in the Crab FMP, and
- all three species in the Arctic FMP.
- EFH component 2 (fishing effects). Update the fishing effects (FE) information in the BSAI, GOA, and Crab FMPs to reflect updates to the FE model, analysis, and evaluation for the 2023 EFH 5-year Review.
- EFH component 4 (non-fishing effects). Revise the EFH appendices in the BSAI, GOA, Crab, Arctic, and Salmon FMPs where conservation recommendations for non-fishing activities are described.
- EFH component 7 (prey of EFH species). Revise text or habitat description table information for two species of BSAI sharks, BSAI pollock, GOA Pacific cod, and BSAI red king crab in the BSAI, GOA, and Crab FMPs.
- EFH component 9 (research and information needs). Revise the EFH appendices with updated research and information needs in the BSAI, GOA, Crab, Arctic, and Salmon FMPs.
BSAI Pot CP Monitoring AdjustmentsThe Council took final action to recommend additional monitoring requirements for catcher/processor (CP) vessels using pot gear while targeting groundfish in the BSAI. The impetus for the action, and the example used throughout the analysis, was the non-CDQ Pacific cod fishery which has a small number of active vessels and short seasons during which errors in data collection and the resulting data deletions have impacted catch estimates. The recommended monitoring requirements would apply to all current BSAI pot CPs. Improved catch estimation is expected to enhance inseason and overall management quality. Affected BSAI pot CP vessels would be required to carry at least one Level 2 observer at all times and comply with pre-cruise meeting notifications when requested by NMFS. In addition, the action would set regulations for three voluntary monitoring options that vessels may choose: (1) allow a certified observer sampling station with a motion-compensated platform (MCP) scale for the observer’s use; (2) allow a motion-compensated, NMFS-Approved Scale to measure total catch in conjunction with an MCP scale for testing, electronic logbook, and video monitoring; and (3) allow vessels to carry additional onboard observers. While voluntary, defining regulations for these options would ensure data quality for management purposes when the options are utilized. In addition to the action alternative described above, NMFS notified the Council that it intends to consolidate monitoring regulations for the pot CP sector, “freezer longliners” (hook-and-line CPs), and trawl deck-sorting into a subpart (Subpart I) of monitoring regulations for ease of public access and understanding. Staff contact is Sam Cunningham.
AIGKC Facility Use CapsThe Council reviewed a staff discussion paper on facility use caps in the Eastern Aleutian Island golden king crab fishery, stemming from public comment at the June 2021 meeting. At this meeting, the Council established a purpose and need statement and set of alternatives to consider removing the facility use for the Eastern Aleutian Island golden king crab and Western Aleutian Islands red king crab, which currently limit a processing facility from using more than 60% of the Individual Processing Quota (IPQ) in these fisheries. The Council also included a separate alternative to exempt custom processing arrangement of the IPQ of Bristol Bay red king crab, South designated Bering Sea snow crab, and Western Aleutian Islands golden king crab processed east of 174 W longitude from counting towards the Processor Quota Share (PQS)/ IPQ use caps. If adopted, this would align the PQS/ IPQ use caps for these fisheries with regulations for other Crab Rationalization Program fisheries. These options would not be mutually exclusive. These proposed alternatives would not change application of the 30% PQS/ IPQ use caps for affiliated PQS/ IPQ and it would not alter regulations around regionalization of quota share. Staff contacts are Clay McKean and Sarah Marrinan.
Programmatic Supplemental Environmental Impact StatementThe Council of considering a Programmatic EIS (PEIS) with the purpose of providing a comprehensive analysis of the cumulative impacts of Alaska’s Federal groundfish fisheries on the human environment given both ecosystem and management changes that have occurred since the last review. The Council indicated that adoption of a final alternative would include updating the Council’s current suite of 45 management policy objectives, noting that it may not be necessary to update every objective. The process of considering a PEIS is intended to incorporate ongoing Council efforts specifically tasked to create more climate-resilient federal fisheries, as applicable. Furthermore, the Council reiterated that the process should include opportunity for meaningful engagement of Alaska Native Tribes and stakeholders. The Council tasked the Ecosystem Committee with developing a draft purpose and need statement and alternatives to recommend to the Council. The Ecosystem Committee’s April 4th meeting will provide opportunity for members of the public to provide input into the development of these recommendations. The PEIS will not be an agenda topic for the April Council meeting. Instead, the draft purpose and need statement and alternatives coming out of the April Ecosystem Committee meeting will be posted to the Ecosystem Committee’s eAgenda after the meeting. This will allow stakeholders time to review and provide comments on the draft over the months following the meeting. The Committee plans to meet again over the summer (date TBD) to incorporate feedback it receives from stakeholders. A schedule providing details on opportunities for comment will be posted to the Committee’s April meeting eAgenda in early March. Additional scoping meetings, intended to provide for further public and Tribal engagement, will be held after the Council formally adopts a purpose and need and alternatives. The purpose and need and alternatives can be refined throughout this iterative process.
Staff contact is Sara Cleaver.
Staff contact for the Ecosystem Committee is Nicole Watson.
Groundfish Stock Prioritization NewsletterThe Council received a presentation from NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) staff with recommendations for how to prioritize groundfish stock assessments. Of the 13 groundfish stocks proposed for reduced stock assessment frequency (additional years occurring between full assessments) by the AFSC, for 10 of those stocks based on Plan Team and SSC recommendations. The Council’s recommendation differed from the AFSC on three stocks, where the Council supported the SSC’s recommendations to maintain BSAI yellowfin sole and AI Pacific cod on the current annual stock assessment cycles and maintain BSAI northern rock sole on the current 2-year schedule. The recommendations put forward by AFSC reflect a balance between continuing to improve efficiency while maintaining the ability to meet the need for timely and high-quality stock assessments. The purposes of stock prioritization include but are not limited to: 1) reducing review burden on the stock assessment review bodies, including the Council, 2) reduce redundancy by streamlining assessments with limited model changes between years, 3) increasing capacity at the AFSC to respond to the unexpected, and 4) increasing time to complete research targeted at improving our assessments. The AFSC is also refining definitions and guidelines for various types of stock assessment products, based on Plan Team, SSC, and Council feedback. An update will be provided to the Groundfish Plan Teams in September and the Council in October. Staff contact is Sara Cleaver.
Trawl EM Committee ReportThe Council passed a motion recommending the Fisheries Monitoring Advisory Committee (FMAC) membership be updated to include the following representation to provide expertise on EM programs: shoreside processing, full coverage EM, WGOA EM fisheries. During staff tasking the Council officially solicited nominations for these positions. The May FMAC meeting agenda should include a discussion of how EM issues are addressed at FMAC meetings. These recommendations reflect the Trawl EM Committee recommendations that with expanded representation the FMAC can provide oversight on all regulated monitoring programs including both observer and EM as well as provide formal recommendations regarding prioritization of future EM projects. The Council also recommended that a specific EM subcommittee be identified by the FMAC as needed when specific EM projects arise that require more involved Council engagement. The Council recognized the success of the Trawl EM Committee and suggested this subcommittee would provide a similar approach to provide a forum for continuous updates to the public and the Council and ensure effective communication among participants for future EM projects. The current Trawl EM Committee should convene only if necessary to provide feedback on the Trawl EM proposed rule or implementation issues that warrant Council involvement as identified by Council or agency staff and at the discretion of the Chair. The Trawl EM Committee will dissolve when final regulations are published implementing the Trawl EM program. The Council thanked members for their collaborative approach, hard work and commitment to the program. Staff contact is Anna Henry.
Universal Data CollectionAt this meeting, the Council reviewed an expanded discussion paper about a Universal Data Collection program that could collect a limited amount of data from vessels in all federal fisheries relative to crew licenses/residency, crew compensation, and number of crew positions to support economic and community impact analyses required for Council actions and program reviews. The proposed collection mechanism is intended to remain simple and provide useable data by fishery across all commercial sectors, while minimizing reporting burden and costs to fisheries participants and NMFS. After reviewing the paper and listening to public testimony, the Council requested the SSC review the staff discussion paper on this issue and provide input to the Council on the proposed mechanism, value of the crew data to be collected, and any additional recommendations that would aid in a simple data collection process. Staff contact is Sarah Marrinan.
Climate Change Taskforce Resiliency Synthesis
The SSC reviewed and provided suggestions on the draft climate readiness synthesis (CRS) compiled by the Climate Change Task Force (CCTF). This report represents a starting point for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) in ascertaining how “climate ready” the current management system is overall and to assist in augmenting existing management for improved climate resilience. This synthesis is an assessment of the current state of “climate readiness’, meaning whether management tools, assessments, and information on-ramps are presently designed to address and consider long-term climate change and the unprecedented conditions and unique challenges that it presents (in contrast to addressing natural climate variability). Importantly, this synthesis does not evaluate management effectiveness or the potential for current ‘climate naïve’ tools and polices to be useful under climate change, as synthesis of information towards that evaluation is underway for the upcoming the climate impacts and adaptation report.The SSC provided a number of suggestions both for the current draft CRS as well as suggestions for the final report and recommendations to the Council at the conclusion of the Task Force’s work (in 2024). The CCTF will revise the CRS to incorporate SSC comments as possible and present to the Council for their consideration and adoption at a subsequent meeting. The SSC was also supportive of the CCTF’s planned climate scenario planning workshop to address scenario planning and provide recommendations for additional management measures (or augmentation of current measures) to improve climate readiness of the North Pacific fisheries. The CCTF will hold a meeting March 1-2, 2023 to develop goals, objectives and an agenda for this workshop tentatively planned for Fall 2023. Staff contact is Diana Stram.
The Council discussed the relative priority and scheduling of previously-tasked projects, and identified new tasking. The revised 3 meeting outlook reflects this guidance.
Following review of the Council advisory groups, the Council took the following actions:
- Appointed Shawaan Jackson-Gamble to the Advisory Panel’s Alaska Native Tribal Representative seat (see also appointments newsletter).
- Appointed Scott McKelvey to the Charter Halibut Management Committee.
- Called for nominations for new EM representatives on the Fishery Monitoring Advisory Committee (see also call for nominations and Trawl EM newsletters).
The Council took the following actions, and provided direction and guidance:
- Rescinded a February 2022 Council motion that would have initiated analysis of alternative allocations for the Area 2C and 3A charter and commercial halibut fisheries.
- Requested that NMFS schedule the public comment period on the revised Northern Fur Seal Conservation Plan to provide an opportunity for the Council to comment.
- Supported initial outcomes of the SSC workshop that called for improved communication between the SSC and the Council with respect to fishery management responses to rapid environmental change, and tasked staff and Council members to think about how to structure next steps prior to Council review of the SSC’s workshop report.
- Discussed general guidelines for when the Council might take expedited action (e.g., initial and final action at a single meeting), and tasked staff with making that guidance available to the public.
- With respect to observer issues, noted that the FMAC will discuss issues of observer retention and availability at their May 2023 meeting, and that the agency will take into account the PCFMAC’s March 2023 recommendations on cost efficiency work as it develops.
PCFMACThe Council received an overview of the PCFMAC’s recent meeting during staff tasking. The overview included an update on the Partial Observer Coverage Cost Efficiencies Analysis. While not an agenda item at this meeting, the report from the PCFMAC’s most recent meeting is included on the e-agenda. The Council recognized the efforts of the PCFMAC to review the cost efficiencies analysis while it is in progress. As indicated in the PCFMAC report, the next observer-related meeting is the annual FMAC meeting in May (date TBD). At that meeting, the FMAC is intended to receive evaluation of each sampling design, and to provide recommendations on the final suite of monitoring designs. The report from that meeting will be presented to the Council in June with other observer related items including an abbreviated Observer Annual Report. The draft 2024 ADP (the mechanism for the cost efficiencies analysis to be implemented) with draft coverage rates will be available for the PCFMAC at its September 2023 meeting and for the Council in October. The final design will be recommended for implementation at those meetings, and the final ADP will be available prior to the December Council meeting.
Area 2C and 3A Halibut Catch Share Plan Revised Allocations MotionAt this meeting the Council chose to rescind a made in February 2022 which would have considered alternative allocations for the Area 2C and 3A charter and commercial halibut fisheries. The Council had initiated an analysis of this proposed action in February 2022 based on concerns about the impacts of the Halibut Catch Sharing Plan and associated management measures on the charter sector, particularly at times of lower abundance. The alternative allocations would have shifted more halibut allocation to the charter sector in times of lower abundance and more halibut allocation to the commercial sector in times of higher abundance. However, in initiating this analysis, the Council’s February 2022 motion also stated its preferred mechanism for dealing with reallocations in this Catch Sharing Plan is compensated reallocation via the Recreational Quota Entity (RQE). The Council stated through its motion that should the RQE fee funding mechanism become law and the Council take final action on the RQE funding mechanism, the Council intends to table or refine this action. The Council took final action on an RQE funding mechanism in April 2022 and on December 29, President Biden signed the FY 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law No: 117-328; H.R. 2617 of the 117th Congress). The law (pages 802-803) includes language authorizing the RQE funding mechanism. Based on these actions, the Council chose to rescind the previous motion. In the next steps, NMFS will be working with the RQE, Charter Halibut Management Committee and charter stakeholders to begin an implementation plan for the charter halibut stamp fee collection mechanism to fund the purchase of halibut quota share. Staff contact is Sarah Marrinan.
Thank You, SeattleThe seafood industry hosted a reception at the Renaissance Marriott Hotel in downtown Seattle following the first day of the Council meeting. The Council would like to thank the the many thanks to the businesses and groups involved in hosting the event. Special thanks to Alaska Scallop Association (Smoked Scallops), Alaskan Leader Fisheries (Alaska Longline Cod), North Pacific Seafoods (Sockeye Salmon) for the seafood donations. A good time was had by all.
Upcoming MeetingsThe following Committee and Plan Team meetings are currently anticipated:
- BS FEP Climate Change Taskforce (CCTF) – March 1-2, 2023, hybrid/AFSC, Seattle, WA
- BS FEP Local Knowledge, Traditional Knowledge, and Subsistence Taskforce (LKTKS) – March 2-3, 2023, hybrid/NPFMC office, Anchorage, AK
- Scallop Plan Team meeting – March 6, 2023, Kodiak, AK
- Salmon Bycatch Committee – March 20-21, hybrid/Anchorage, AK
- Ecosystem Committee – April 4, 2023, hybrid/Anchorage, AK
- Enforcement Committee – April 4, 2023, hybrid/NPFMC office, Anchorage, AK
- BSAI Crab Plan Team meeting – May 15-19, 2023, hybrid/location TBD
- Fishery Monitoring Advisory Committee (FMAC) – May 2023 (dates/location TBD)
- The AFSC is hosting a Center for Independent Experts (CIE) review of the Ecosystem Status Reports (ESRs) from Feb 28 – Mar 2 at the AFSC in Seattle WA/online, which is open to the public. Contact email@example.com at least two days prior for AFSC access if you are attending in person; see and information online. The AFSC produces three ESRs annually to provide ecosystem information for the Council, tailored toward supporting the Council’s annual process to set groundfish harvest specifications. The development and application of the ESRs has evolved over time, thus, the Center for Independent Experts will conduct a review of the goals of the ESR effort and how best to achieve them.
- NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and NMFS are hosting a public roundtable on sanctuary nominations in the Pribilof Islands, including Alaĝum Kanuux̂, to provide information and answer questions on the designation process. The meeting will take place on April 6, from 5.30-7.30 pm, in hybrid format. The in-person meeting will be in the Denali Room at the Hilton Hotel, Anchorage, AK. A zoom link will be available from the Council calendar.