Why is NPFMC endorsement on trawl fleet’s promotional fliers?

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council logo and name appear on promo fliers for a fishery under its jurisdiction.

by | February 14, 2023

Filed Under Halibut | Management | NPFMC

Groundfish Forum lobbies for 19 Seattle-based groundfish trawlers

The Groundfish Forum represents the so-called “Amendment 80” trawl fleet that fishes hard on bottom in the Bering Sea, primarily for yellow fin sole and other flounders. It is the fleet that fishery managers agree takes most of the halibut and other fish species as bycatch in the Bering Sea. All of the boats are homeported in Seattle.

The group fought for six years against a proposed management change by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council that would reduce a fixed annual cap of roughly four million pounds of halibut bycatch that would instead fluctuate based on the ups and downs of the halibut stock. That is how the halibut catches are applied each year to all other users – commercial, sport and subsistence.

The new “Abundance Based Management” tool was passed by the NPFMC last December and will be in place by 2024. Groundfish Forum executive director Chris Woodley responded: “For the first time in its history, the Council has ignored science and its own analysis and chosen a path that has no conservation benefit and results in a net negative benefit to the nation… During its discussion, the Council ignored the potential that their action could put at least one flatfish company out of business, so we don’t take this issue lightly. We believe this action does not meet the standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and we are exploring all options due to the unprecedented nature of this decision.”

Why is the NPFMC promoting a fishing fleet that is under its jurisdiction in promotional fliers?

From a 2021 presentation by Glenn Merrill/NOAA Alaska.
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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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