Does this open the door for trawlers to create their own regulations?
On Monday, October 2, the NPFMC will host a workshop “to engage with stakeholders and fishery participants on ways to revise the trawl gear performance standard so that it is clear, enforceable and meets Council objectives.” It will focus primarily on “crab parts.”
The workshop is in response to a North Pacific Fishery Management Council report last April that revealed in writing for the first time that pelagic (mid-water) trawl gear can average up to 85% on the bottom.
The paper also revealed that the federal government applies its rules differently to on-bottom (non-pelagic) and pelagic (mid-water) gears.
At Monday’s meeting, staff from the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, NMFS Alaska Region and the NPFMC will make presentations.
But the trawl sector will be recommending the rules.
Only 14 comments were made by noon on a closing deadline of midnight (AK time) on Sunday. One by William Gehrlein summed up concerns by many that the meeting will promote more “discussions and delays” and few outcomes that favor any changes to trawl behaviors.
Comments can be made until October 1, 11:59pm Alaska time.
Here is everything people need to know about the Trawl Gear Performance Workshop and how to participate —