Local Fish Fund helps next generation of fishermen Arctic Sounder by Laine Welch - October 17, 2020 More young Alaskans are officially among the next generation of professional fishermen and ocean stewards to hail from Cordova, Haines, Homer, Ketchikan and Sitka. http://www.thearcticsounder.com/article/2042local_fish_fund_helps_next_generation_of Re Trump’s May Executive Order: North Pacific Council Prioritizes Surveys and Catch Monitoring SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - October 16, 2020 In response to Last May’s Executive Order 13921, the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC) submitted a list of prioritized recommendations to “reduce burdens on domestic fishing and to increase production within sustainable fisheries.” At the top of their list is groundfish surveys in the Gulf and Bering Sea, and improved observer coverage and electronic monitoring. The president’s order “Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness Economic Growth” tasked each of the nation’s eight regional management councils with providing ways to reach four goals and asked them to provide recommendations by November 2. Implementation plans for the changes are to be submitted within a year of the President's May 7, 2020 order. Early this week NPFMC passed a motion putting a “high priority” on NOAA Groundfish surveys off Alaska and stock assessments, as well as NOAA funding for the observer coverage and electric monitoring. The council asked the President to “Prioritize internal NOAA funding to fund full suite of NOAA groundfish surveys in federal waters off Alaska for 2021 and beyond, and resulting stock assessments. “This is a core data set for stock assessments, understanding climate effects, and ecosystem management, and should include the Northern Bering Sea as an annual survey for the near-term. Regular stock assessment surveys increase certainty about stock status which is the largest driver in increasing catch limits and therefore domestic production within sustainable fisheries,” the council motion read. Their second ‘high priority’ item was funding for observers and electronic monitoring. The asked the President to “Prioritize internal NOAA funding to supplement the North Pacific Observer Program for observers and electronic monitoring. “Actions that increase certainty and data in our management process serve to improve management of domestic seafood production and ability to meet optimum yield objectives in the Magnuson Stevens Act,” the council explained in its motion. “While the North Pacific fishery participants have been the primary funders of monitoring costs for decades, supplemental funds toward both North Pacific observers and electronic monitoring are needed.” Within the Council’s authority to seek regulatory actions, implementation and regulations of electronic monitoring for the pelagic trawl fleet headed the list of five items, all designed to increase efficiencies, reduce waste, improve safety and/or increase value. Implementing EM on the pollock fleet, which currently operates EM under an exempted fishing permit authority, was followed by a squid and sculpin bycatch retention plan and a catch share program known as a LAPP (limited access privilege program) for the Bering Sea Aleutian Island (BSAI) catcher vessel Pacific cod fleet. Finally, continued evaluation for outdated or redundant record keeping and reporting requirements will result in further reduction of unnecessary burdens to the seafood industry. Under non-regulatory actions, the Council recommended prioritizing funding for “domestic seafood marketing and promotion programs and engage with other agencies to encourage safe consumption of domestic seafood,” they wrote. “This could take the form of NOAA (1) ensuring that any available S-K funding prioritizes fisheries marketing and promotion efforts in soliciting and approving applications; (2) undertaking assertive actions to communicate the sustainability of US fisheries, through its Fish Wise program and other public relations efforts; (3) consider the MAFAC recommendation to launch a National Seafood Council; and (4) urge the USDA/HHS to ensure their seafood consumption advice is based on recent scientific evidence,” the motion explained. Under the trade policy and marketing request for recommendations, the Council asked that the President “Dedicate staff and resources in NOAA and across the Administration to facilitate resolution of trade barriers and make exports of domestic seafood more competitive.” The panel suggested that USTR and ITA could “prioritize efforts to (a) address how US seafood competes against other seafood-producing nations and (b) secure more favorable trade terms (i.e., removal of tariffs on seafood exports or the assurance of reciprocity in trade relationships). The last recommendation on trade policy was to increase competitiveness of US fisheries by allowing “refinance of fisheries buyback loans. “Many buyback loans have interest rates substantially above market rates, imposing additional costs and burdens on domestic fishermen,” the members wrote. Finally, the NPFMC members asked the President to remove two procedural practices: remove the policy directive that requires allocation reviews to be made, noting that already “Allocation reviews can be undertaken at any time a Council deems necessary, and LAPP allocation reviews are already on a mandated schedule under the Magnuson Stevens Act.” The effect of this step would “build efficiencies and save staff and Council time by undertaking allocation reviews only when warranted.” Finally, the President should eliminate the need for NMFS to formally approve the Council’s Statement of Organization Practices and Procedures (SOPPs) and subsequent publication in the Federal Register. “Removal of this regulation will save staff and Council administrative time,” the panel wrote in their motion. The Council's recommendations came after a process of soliciting public comments and priorities on each of the categories. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1183112/Re-Trumps-May-Executive-Order-North-Pacific-Council-Prioritizes-Surveys-and-Catch-Monitoring International WTO: EU can impose billions of dollars in tariffs on US goods, including seafood Seafood Source by Jason Holland - October 19, 2020 The European Union can impose tariffs of up to USD 4 billion (EUR 3.4 billion) on imported products from the United States as a countermeasure for illegal subsidies given to American aircraft-maker Boeing, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/wto-eu-can-impose-billions-of-dollars-in-tariffs-on-us-goods-including-seafood Environment/Science First offshore wind research buoys deployed off West Coast National Fisherman by Kirk Moore - October 15, 2020 The U.S. Department of Energy has deployed two offshore wind research buoys off California for the first time, an early step toward potential leasing of wind energy sites in the Pacific. https://www.nationalfisherman.com/west-coast-pacific/first-offshore-wind-research-buoys-deployed-off-west-coast Federal Register Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2019-2020 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 10/19/202 This final rule announces routine inseason adjustments to management measures in commercial groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to allow commercial fishing vessels to access more abundant groundfish stocks while protecting rebuilding and depleted stocks. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/10/19/2020-23078/magnuson-stevens-act-provisions-fisheries-off-west-coast-states-pacific-coast-groundfish-fishery North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 10/20/2020 The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) Joint Protocol Committee will meet November 5, 2020. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/10/20/2020-23180/north-pacific-fishery-management-council-public-meeting
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