North Pacific Fishery Management Council Decision on Bycatch Reductions

Commissioner Cotton moved for PSC reductions that would reduce actual bycatch below 2014 levels by 18% in total, stating that he would prefer and support greater reductions but that he recognized he did not have support from Washington and Oregon Council members.  Washington Council member Bill Tweit then amended the PSC allocations to each sector, allowing more bycatch in each sector.  The amendment that passed establishes the following limits:

Amendment 80-25% PSC reduction
Trawl limited Access-15%
Non-trawl pacific cod- 15%
CDQ- 20%

- Even though this action reduced the caps, it allows an INCREASE in bycatch over 2014 and historic levels.  
- NMFS Council member Mr. Merrill amended motion to change the Trawl limited access sector's PSC to 20%  Motion Failed
- Substitute Motion: Council member Duncan Fields moved to postpone action and to bring it back for final action at a subsequent meeting with an option for performance standards for the A80 sector (performance standard would reduce PSC by 25%, set performance standard at 30%, trigger a 35% reduction in PSC cap if A80 fleet exceeds 30% performance standard in 3 out of 5 years.) = would have allowed final action in October Failed 5-6
- FOR THE RECORD: Ed Dersham voted AGAINST Alaskan's asking for a reduction in bycatch on every motion. 
- Mr. Tweit's amendment to the main motion passed 5-4.
- Council members all stated on the record that this is a first step and more action on bycatch should be expected.  
- Final motion passed with NMFS, WA, OR and Ed Dersham voting in favor.

To everyone who testified on this issue, THANK YOU.  The testimony was outstanding even though the outcome is dismal. 

Linda Behnken