Anchorage, AK, United States
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News Article | May 10, 2017

Chris Oliver, the executive director of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), appears to have the inside track to become the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, the head of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Oliver has had widespread support from a range of seafood industry groups around the country, based on his long history as a successful leader of the NPFMC. The latest talk within the industry is that Oliver is indeed the pick that the Commerce Department has submitted to the White House. The recommendation still has to get White House approval, and also a congressional approval of the nomination is needed. But all indications are that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is picking Oliver. Oliver has had strong support from Northwest and Alaska congressional delegation and industry and also has a lot of support in the Gulf region. The Gulf Seafood Institute, the Louisiana Restaurant Association, and the Charter Fisherman's Association all have written letters of support.

News Article | May 4, 2017

The US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is scouting for a new head, and it has three officials in the running to lead it: a former Louisiana official, an Alaskan fishery manager and a Sea Grant program director. NMFS, housed under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, oversees fishing regulations, endangered species listings and fisheries research. It is headed by an assistant administrator for fisheries, a position that commerce secretary Wilbur Ross can fill without Senate confirmation. The three contenders are Robert Barham, who served as wildlife and fisheries secretary under former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal; Chris Oliver, longtime executive director of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council; and LaDon Swann, who directs the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium -- one of the 33 Sea Grant programs that President Trump has proposed eliminating. For the complete article, click here.

Kruse G.H.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | Zheng J.,Alaska Department of Fish and Game | Stram D.L.,North Pacific Fishery Management Council
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2010

After peak landings in 1980, the red king crab fishery in Bristol Bay (Alaska) was closed in 1983 because of stock collapse. In the following decade, small commercial harvests and additional fishery closures (1994 and 1995) associated with depressed stock status prompted a reappraisal of the management strategy. A length-based population model was developed, which provided an improved stock assessment for setting annual catch quota. A management strategy evaluation revealed that a harvest strategy, which included a stair-stepped harvest rate of 10-15 of mature males and a threshold for effective spawning biomass below which no fishing is permitted, provides for relatively high long-term yield, greater stability in yield, fewer fishery closures, and higher effective spawning biomass. This strategy was adopted in 1996, in addition to crab bycatch caps and closed areas, to protect sensitive crab habitats implemented in the management of the groundfish trawl fishery. Since then, abundance of legal-sized males increased by 58, that of mature males doubled, and mature female abundance and effective spawning biomass tripled through 2008. The stock has been considered rebuilt since 2003. Subsequently, a sharp reduction in fishing capacity improved profitability of the fishery, after implementation of an individual fishing quota programme in 2005. © 2010 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford Journals. All rights reserved.

Punt A.E.,University of Washington | Siddeek M.S.M.,Alaska Department of Fish and Game | Garber-Yonts B.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Dalton M.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 4 more authors.
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2012

Increasingly, scientific uncertainty is being accounted for in fisheries management by implementing an uncertainty buffer, i.e. a difference between the limit catch level given perfect information and the set catch. An approach based on simulation is outlined, which can be used to evaluate the impact of different buffers on short-and long-term catches, discounted revenue, the probability of overfishing (i.e. the catch exceeding the true, but unknown, limit catch), and the stock becoming overfished (i.e. for crab, mature male biomass, MMB, dropping below one-half of the MMB corresponding to maximum sustainable yield). This approach can be applied when only a fraction of the uncertainty related to estimating the limit catch level is quantified through stock assessments. The approach is applied for illustrative purposes to the fishery for red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, in Bristol Bay, AK. © 2012 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Cunningham S.,North Pacific Fishery Management Council | Bennear L.S.,Duke University | Smith M.D.,Duke University
Land Economics | Year: 2016

Regional councils manage U.S. fisheries. Fishermen can participate in fisheries managed by multiple councils, and effort controls in one region could lead to effort leakage into another. Theoretical modeling demonstrates that positive, negative, and no leakage are possible. Using difference-in-differences, we test for leakage across regional boundaries for a catch share program in New England and find evidence that the New England groundfish sector program caused spillover into adjacent Mid-Atlantic fisheries. Aggregate Mid-Atlantic harvest volume increased among sector members after the policy change. We find leakage in individual fisheries with similar gear and high market substitutability with sector species. © 2016 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.

Dicosimo J.,North Pacific Fishery Management Council | Methot R.D.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Ormseth O.A.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2010

In total, 41 fish stocks in US ocean waters continue to be fished at unsustainable levels, and 46 fish stocks are overfished. In 2006, the US Congress required the implementation of annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures by 2010 to prevent overfishing, and by 2011 to recover overfished stocks. These requirements were modelled on the existing management system for Northeast Pacific groundfish, where more than 20 fish stocks and assemblages have been managed sustainably for 30 years. Science-based overfishing levels and acceptable biological catches (ABCs) have been implemented for each stock or assemblage, with buffers between the two to avoid overfishing. Total allowable catches are set at or below the acceptable biological catch. Suballocations of quotas by season, area, and gear type, along with in-season fishery closures based on extensive observer coverage and vessel monitoring, ensure that quotas are not exceeded. To comply with ACL requirements, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council has defined ABC as an ACL. We demonstrate the effectiveness of ACLs for successful management of Northeast Pacific groundfish, suggesting that their use in other US fisheries might reduce the risk of overfishing and enhance the recovery of overfished stocks. © United States Government, Department of Commerce 2010.

Reuter R.F.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Conners M.E.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Dicosimo J.,North Pacific Fishery Management Council | Gaichas S.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 2 more authors.
Fisheries Management and Ecology | Year: 2010

Abstract: The 2006 reauthorisation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requires annual catch limits for all target and non-target species within federally managed fisheries in the United States. In Alaska, both target and non-target species in the Alaska groundfish fisheries have been managed using catch limits since the early 1990s. Non-target species that are caught incidentally in a fishery require monitoring to ensure that the population is not negatively impacted by commercial fishing. Resource assessment scientists have been challenged with obtaining sufficient data to recommend an acceptable catch level for management of these species. This paper reviews three case studies where a catch limit is determined for non-target species when certain data are limited: (1) varying levels of biomass and catch data for all species within a species group or complex; (2) adequate catch data but no biomass data; (3) emerging target fishery of data-poor species, plus an example of how a complex of ecosystem component species is managed. Published 2010. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Stram D.L.,North Pacific Fishery Management Council | Ianelli J.N.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2015

The walleye pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) fishery in the Bering Sea is one of the largest fisheries in the world. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) provides management advice for this fishery, including the development of measures to minimize salmon bycatch to the extent practicable, one of the stated objectives of the US Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act National Standard Guidelines. Salmon have a unique cultural and nutritional importance in the State of Alaska and are the subject of fully allocated mixed commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries. Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) stocks in Alaska have been declining for the last decade, and all sources of mortality are being considered to help in rebuilding stocks. Given the extensive scientific National Marine Fisheries Service observer data collection programme, the NPFMC has developed bycatch management measures that place limits by fishery sector on the allowable catch of Chinook salmon. Part of this programme includes industry-proposed incentive programmes designed to encourage lower bycatch. Evaluating the efficacy of the new measures poses a number of challenges, particularly in light of changing ocean conditions (perhaps affecting the degree of overlap between pollock and salmon). In this study, data on pre- and post-programme implementation were evaluated to determine if the programme is meeting stated goals and objectives or if modifications are needed. These evaluations included consideration of fleet-level bycatch numbers and rates, seasonality of bycatch by sector, and individual vessel bycatch rates. Results suggest that revised management regulations appear to have resulted in reduced bycatch of salmon overall. Also, lower bycatch rates seem to reflect changing behaviour in response to new management measures. However, the extent to which the programme is effective at the vessel level remains difficult to ascertain without explicit vessel-specific benchmarks developed for evaluating programme efficacy. © Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of International Council for the Exploration of the Sea 2014.

Ianelli J.N.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Stram D.L.,North Pacific Fishery Management Council
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2015

Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) are taken as bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) fishery, with recently revised management measures in place to limit the overall Chinook salmon catch. Historical impact of the bycatch on regional salmon stocks is made difficult because, until recently, sampling for the stock composition of the bycatch was patchy and diverse in approaches. In this study, extensive observer data on the biological attributes (size and age composition) of the bycatch were used to estimate the impact on specific regional stock groups (RSGs), as defined given available genetic stock identification estimates. Our model provides estimates of the impact on Chinook salmon RSGs, given seasonal and spatial variability in the bycatch, and accounts for observed in-river age compositions, uncertainty in age-specific oceanic natural mortality of Chinook salmon, and between-year variability in genetic information. The upper Yukon River stock is transboundary and subject to heightened management interest and international management agreements on escapement goals. Our study updates results from an earlier analysis used to develop the management regulations that went into place in 2011. It shows that the new data result in slight changes in previous estimates, and that the lower overall Chinook salmon bycatch since 2008 has resulted in lower impacts to the main western Alaskan RSGs. © Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of International Council for the Exploration of the Sea 2014.

Fina M.,North Pacific Fishery Management Council
Fisheries | Year: 2011

Fishery managers, economists, industry advocates, and some environmental public interest groups are currently promoting catch shares (or the allocation of exclusive portions of the total allowable catch) as a means to address both environmental and economic fishery management problems. At the same time, a vocal opposition to catch share management has developed among some industry stakeholders, academics, and other public interest groups. Over the course of the last 20 years, while the debate has percolated, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (known henceforth as the Council) has incrementally developed and overseen the implementation of five major catch share management programs for the fisheries it governs. This article draws on the experiences in the North Pacific fisheries to shed light on several facets of the debate over the efficacy of catch share management and suggests that catch share management is most effective and beneficial to stakeholders, when used in a measured manner, as part of a management program adapted specifically to a fishery and its stakeholders.

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