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Thread: North Pacific Fishery Management Council Salmon FMP

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    Default North Pacific Fishery Management Council Salmon FMP

    Some may not realize that a major fishery management plan that impacts Alaska fisheries is in preparation by the NPFMC. The link is below and those interested in fisheries management should read the document.

    http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/PDFdocuments/fmp/Salmon/SalmonFMP1011.pdf


    As a primer I can give some overview but this is a complex issue.

    In Cook Inlet Federal waters extent well up the inlet. In a 1975 court case the United States Supreme Court in case 95 S Ct.2240 (1975 A.M.C. 1081, 45L Ed.2d 109) ruled that Cook Inlet was not a historic bay and that waters were federal from about K. Island south. The State of Alaska had tried to claim these waters for an oil lease sale and the Federal Gov sued to stop it. It is a very interesting case history with lots of neat findings. For example, the 3 n. mile rule for State waters - shore out to 3 n miles- is a result of the Cannon shot rule. That rule states that 3 n miles is the range of a traditional 18th century cannon and thus state's possessed sovereignty over the waters within the range of cannon shot.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that Federal waters and salmon management are under the Federal Gov and they delegate it to the State of Alaska for some areas. Most Federal waters are closed to salmon fishing but in Cook Inlet there is an exception and thus a Fishery Management Plan is required. The Federal Gov is writing that plan right now and people should look at it.

    In the plan as written right now there would be no method or means limitations, season limitations, or bag limits for Chinook salmon and all other species of salmon caught by sport fisherman - including charter operators in these federal waters. The State has no jurisdiction over these waters. The State is contending that people could not bring these fish to shore but other lawyers are saying the State cannot control or arrest people for taking legally caught fish in Federal waters. This is just one aspect of the plan.

    The proposed plan covers the State so it is 269 pages in length.

    As a side note the lines are being redone for Federal waters around the State. There is a new headland rule that will increase Federal waters in Cook Inlet. This rule is a result of the Law of The Sea agreements and has value for enforcement of marine fisheries so it will not be changed. The maps for the new lines are on the NOAA web site.

    The NPFMC is discussing the plan (scheduled 8 hours) in Dutch Harbor in October and more drafts are coming as comments come into the discussions so this is not a done deal. However, it is obvious that potential major changes are on the table for all user groups and thus the reason for this thread.

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    thanks for this info,Nerka. Normally I am not in favor of federal management but with current board of fish management policies regarding salmon in Cook Inlet federal oversight might be just the thing we need to return to science based management.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner View Post
    thanks for this info,Nerka. Normally I am not in favor of federal management but with current board of fish management policies regarding salmon in Cook Inlet federal oversight might be just the thing we need to return to science based management.
    That may be true but at this point, at a minimum, the Federal agencies should have oversight given their statory responsibilities under Mag/Stevens. It appears to me in the above FMP discussion they want to wash their hands of it which I believe is not legal or ethical. The State does a pretty good job but needs oversight for those fisheries with high political influence - UCI being one of them. I have seen too many times where an outside party could bring science back into the process when the State political influence is too great.

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    So basically, the most productive parts of Cook Inlet will be wide open for unregulated fishing? No vessel length limits, no gear limits, no time limits? Wow. Watch what happens to the escapements when this happens. Goodbye chinook and coho stocks. Right now the depth limit on drift gear is protecting those stocks. That will be pretty wild when the local boats are out there competing with 100 foot catcher processors. Hmmm. At an average price of a buck and a half a pound there is a chance to easily make over seven figures. That's more than enough incentive to bring in boats from out of state. The only way to protect escapement will be to close all state water fishing if there are enough boats that participate in the unregulated fishing. Every user group should be paying attention to this one.

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    Nerka can give a better answer, but I don't thinks that could happen. Nerka said.....

    "In the plan as written right now there would be no method or means limitations, season limitations, or bag limits for Chinook salmon and all other species of salmon caught by sport fisherman - including charter operators in these federal waters. The State has no jurisdiction over these waters. The State is contending that people could not bring these fish to shore but other lawyers are saying the State cannot control or arrest people for taking legally caught fish in Federal waters. This is just one aspect of the plan.

    I would think that since he said sport fishermen.........that is precludes commercial fishing. I'll wait for his input though, I still need to read up on the entire thing. I did a couple years ago, but forgot this was in the current council agenda before Nerka brought it up. It is a really big deal (well it sure could be), and I've wondered why it hasn't been discussed more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan View Post
    Nerka can give a better answer, but I don't thinks that could happen. Nerka said.....

    "In the plan as written right now there would be no method or means limitations, season limitations, or bag limits for Chinook salmon and all other species of salmon caught by sport fisherman - including charter operators in these federal waters. The State has no jurisdiction over these waters. The State is contending that people could not bring these fish to shore but other lawyers are saying the State cannot control or arrest people for taking legally caught fish in Federal waters. This is just one aspect of the plan.

    I would think that since he said sport fishermen.........that is precludes commercial fishing. I'll wait for his input though, I still need to read up on the entire thing. I did a couple years ago, but forgot this was in the current council agenda before Nerka brought it up. It is a really big deal (well it sure could be), and I've wondered why it hasn't been discussed more.
    You are correct. The EEZ would be closed to commercial salmon fishing below Anchor Point. Above Anchor Point the EEZ would be open to salmon fishing and how the State and Feds interact is on the table with the FMP options.

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    So above Anchor Point, the EEZ would be open to unregulated commercial fishing, right? The financial incentive will bring in someone to take advantage of this loophole. That is a certainty. Provide a means to make huge profits, and they will come. It will be like back in the days the Japanese were fishing right off the coast, only the boats will be US origin. Wow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seinerman View Post
    So above Anchor Point, the EEZ would be open to unregulated commercial fishing, right? The financial incentive will bring in someone to take advantage of this loophole. That is a certainty. Provide a means to make huge profits, and they will come. It will be like back in the days the Japanese were fishing right off the coast, only the boats will be US origin. Wow.
    I believe you are correct. It has to due with a court case in Southeast. If a catcher/seller comes into the EEZ above Anchor Point and catches salmon they are not bound by State regulations. If they leave without entering State waters there would be nothing anyone could do. In contrast to this position the State maintains that if they do come into State waters for safety, fuel, anything they would be charged. However, lawyers for a number of groups maintain the State is blowing smoke with this and international laws/treaties, and federal law would keep them from doing this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seinerman View Post
    So above Anchor Point, the EEZ would be open to unregulated commercial fishing, right? The financial incentive will bring in someone to take advantage of this loophole. That is a certainty. Provide a means to make huge profits, and they will come. It will be like back in the days the Japanese were fishing right off the coast, only the boats will be US origin. Wow.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    I believe you are correct. It has to due with a court case in Southeast. If a catcher/seller comes into the EEZ above Anchor Point and catches salmon they are not bound by State regulations. If they leave without entering State waters there would be nothing anyone could do. In contrast to this position the State maintains that if they do come into State waters for safety, fuel, anything they would be charged. However, lawyers for a number of groups maintain the State is blowing smoke with this and international laws/treaties, and federal law would keep them from doing this.
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    I think some are missing the bigger picture, if this happens then there will no longer be bycatch of king salmon by the trawl fleet outside of the three mile line! That would give the draggers about 15 million dollars a year more in income. That is one way to lower bycatch, just make it the target species!

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    I don't believe that is true. Do you happen to have a link? There currently is a GOA chinook bycatch cap going through the council. I have a feeling you just thought that might be true and so posted it. However, I feel confident that it's not a possibility.

    Link to Salmon bycatch measures being pursued by the council.
    http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/bycat...n-bycatch.html

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    MG55 upon thinking more about his...I suppose a boat with no LLP, and no permits in any federal fisheries could do what you saying. However I don't know of any that exist. And only american boats can fish in our EEZ so I still think what you are worried about can not happen.

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    If the State recognizes that a loophole is being created to permit unregulated salmon fishing in Cook Inlet, why would we agree to such nonsense? What is the gain for the state? There would be a political bloodbath if this loophole is created and exploited. I don't understand why anyone would want to take a chance on this. Conservation measures would fall on AK residents. So much for our fish. Why do this?

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    Nerka had an excellent post on what was going on a year or so ago I think in response to a BOF action. I'll see if I can find it, or maybe he can repost it.

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    We need to make sure this does'nt happen! If it does I need to get my new nets comming soon No mybe not, my boat won't hold 5 shackels of 100 mesh!

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    Council affirms state control of salmon, drops federal jurisdiction

    Andrew Jensen - The Alaska Journal of Commerce
    Dec 8, 2011 - 08:32 PM

    As expected, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council approved an amendment to the federal fishery management plan, or FMP, for salmon that will remove federal jurisdiction for Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet and the Alaska Peninsula fisheries. The vote was 11-0.

    Southeast Alaska's salmon fishery will remain in the federal FMP with state management. Salmon in Southeast Alaska are subject to management under the Endangered Species Act and the Pacific Salmon Treaty, and the federal FMP provides the nexus for meeting federal and international obligations.

    Commercial fishermen from Upper Cook Inlet did not expect a different outcome than what transpired at the Anchorage Hilton, but several made their objections known to removing federal oversight from their fishery. Members of United Cook Inlet Drift Association, the Alaska Salmon Alliance and Kenai Peninsual Fishermen's Asssociation argued that state management of the Cook Inlet salmon fishery in particular are not meeting national standards under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

    The drift fleet and setnetters mainly have complaints about how the Board of Fisheries sets escapement goals, arguing that they are not set for maximum sustainable yield, or MSY, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act. In aruging the current board favors recreational fishermen at their expense, commercial fishermen stated that area, gear and time restrictions put in place by the board are allowing overescapement to spawning streams, which prevents the optimum yield from being harvested and creates highly variable returns.

    The council did not find the arguments persuasive, and the amendment affirms that state management is still bound by Magunson-Stevens Act national standards.


    Read more: http://www.alaskajournal.com/Blog-Fi...#ixzz1g53kg2wz

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    Looks like cooler heads have prevailed. Nothing left to see here folks, move along!!!
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    No offense whop2000 but have you read the 300 page plus FMP. Lots to worry about. Also, the council is not the final word the Sec of Commerce is and there are significant issues with the FMP. For example the Mag/Stevens Act requires MSY goals. The State does not have those for most Cook Inlet Fisheries. By allowing the State to maintain those goals the FMP is in violation of the Act. Even more is the idea that the EEZ can be wide open to the Sport Fishery with no bag, possession or gear limitations and the State has no authority to stop this in the FMP. So I would suggest if one really wants to get into it they must read the FMP from front to back and Mag/stevens to see where they deviate. I predict a court battle down the line and changes from the Sec. of Commerce. We will see.

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    None taken, To answer you, "no, I have not read both docuements to see where they deviate.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    It always amazes me how MSY gets interpreted. It seems like the com boys forget there's an "S" in there- always demanding Maximum Yield, forgetting it needs to be sustainable. MSY does not apply only to commercial fisheries upon a stock; it applies to all fisheries. Looks like the council saw through them this time.

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