$2.5 Million Available For Innovative Bycatch Solution


NOAA Fisheries is now accepting applicationsfor the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

Projects must address bycatch research priorities by:

  • Developing innovative and effective technologies, gear modifications, and/or improving fishing practices in commercial and recreational fisheries to reduce bycatch impacts. Proposals that specifically reduce impacts tocatch share fisheries, protected species (those species listed as part of the NOAA“Species in the Spotlight”campaign), highly migratory species, fish stocks that areoverfished, whereoverfishing is occurring, or are under prohibited species catch limits, or seabirds are particularly encouraged.
  • Improving understanding and reduction of post-release and other indirect mortality, including barotrauma, predation, and unaccounted mortality in commercial and recreational fisheries including target and non-target species.
  • Determining the degree and nature of interactions and developing techniques to reduce interactions between fishing gears and corals, sponges, and other structure-forming invertebrates.
  • Conducting comprehensive international bycatch analyses or research which will inform conservation engineering in U.S. fisheries.

Pre-proposals are due by March 1 with full applications due by April 15, 2016. 

For more information, download thecall for proposals  or contact derek.orner@noaa.gov, National Bycatch Coordinator.

NACO Supports Mezirow - NPFMC

NACO Support for Capt. Andrew Mezirow to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council

We appreciate the opportunity to recommend Captain Mezirow and strongly encourage you to support his appointment to serve on the NPFMC.  Should you have any questions on this issue or others please contact me.

To view the entire letter please click here


Coast Guard's Ketchikan Project Making Progress

The U.S. Coast Guard is making good progress on its plans for homeporting Fast Response Cutters (FRC’s) in Southeast Alaska and improving shore and waterfront facilities in Ketchikan to support the new vessels. This was welcomed  by U.S. Senator Mark Begich.

The United States Coast Guard plans on building a 405-foot floating pier and a new 3,000 square foot support building in Ketchikan. The Coast Guard intends to homeport 2 FRC’s in Ketchikan by 2015, and add a third FRC in Juneau by 2020.


Discussion on Definition of Fishing Guide

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council Joint Protocol Committee of the AK B0F and Council will meet in Juneau, AK. One issue that to be discussed is an Update on definition of a fishing guide.

The meeting will be held on June 12, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Additional Issue Added to Plenary Session

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will hold public meetings, June 3-11, 2013 at the Centennial Hall, 101 Egan Drive, Juneau, AK. This document is making the public aware of all of the issues being discussed at the council plenary session. An additional issue is being added to agenda item 7, under the heading ``Council Plenary Session''. The original notice published on May 10, 2013, will not be repeated here and all other text in the original notice remains unchanged.


     In the Federal Register of May 10, 2013, in FR Doc. 2013-11155, on page 27366, in the third column, agenda item 7, under the heading ``Council Plenary Session'' is corrected to read as follows:


Community Profiles for North Pacific Fisheries

Exploring Alaska's fishing communities

The Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) has developed an interactive set of maps that will allow you to explore fisheries participation by communities around the state of Alaska. By clicking on the links below, you will be able to view maps showing commercial, recreational and subsistence fisheries participation by community. You will also be able to download the community profile we have written for 195 fishing dependent communities.


Limitations on Use of Quota Share and the Individual Fishing Quota Program

NMFS proposes to amend the hired master regulations of the Individual Fishing Quota Program (IFQ Program) for the fixed-gear commercial Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The IFQ Program allows initial recipients of catcher vessel halibut and sablefish quota share (QS) to hire a vessel master to harvest an annual allocation of individual fishing quota (IFQ) derived from the QS. If this action is approved, an initial QS recipient would not be allowed to use a hired master to harvest IFQ derived from catcher vessel QS that they received by transfer after February 12, 2010, with a limited exception for small amounts of QS. This action is necessary to maintain a predominantly owner-operated fishery. In addition, this action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA, and other applicable law

Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., Alaska local time, on May 28, 2013.




NPFMC Hosts Public Workshop


The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will host a public workshop on considerations of conservation, management, and policy in spatial management of catch limits.

The workshop will be held on April 16, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Resolution on Genetically Modified Salmon Passes


The Alaska Legislature has passed a resolution calling upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to further investigate the effects of producing genetically engineered salmon.

HJR5, by Rep. Geran Tarr of Anchorage, also asks the federal government to require labeling genetically modified salmon if it is to be sold.


Guideline Harvest Levels for the Guided Sport Fishery for Pacific Halibut in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C and 3A



NMFS provides notice of the 2013 Pacific halibut guideline harvest levels (GHLs) for the guided sport fishery in International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Regulatory Areas 2C

(Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). This notice is necessary to meet the regulatory requirement to publish notice announcing the GHLs and to inform the public about the 2013 GHLs for the guided sport fishery for halibut. The GHLs are benchmark harvest levels for participants in the guided sport fishery. The Area 2C GHL is 788,000 lb (357.4 mt); and the Area 3A GHL is 2,734,000 lb (1,240.1 mt). These GHLs revise and supersede those published in the 2013 IPHC annual management measures (78 FR 16423, March 15, 2013).

The GHLs are effective February 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013. This period is specified by IPHC as the sport fishing season in all waters in and off Alaska.