Tab G, No. 2
1 GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
3 ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY COMMITTEE
5 El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel San Antonio, Texas
6 July 31, 2007
8 VOTING MEMBERS
9 Julie Morris..............................................Florida
10 Roy Crabtree..................NMFS, SERO, St. Petersburg, Florida
11 Joe Hendrix.................................................Texas
12 Phil Horn.............................................Mississippi
13 Tom McIlwain..........................................Mississippi
14 Susan Villere...........................................Louisiana
16 NON-VOTING MEMBERS
17 Bill Daughdrill...........................................Florida
18 Karen Foote(designee for John Roussel)..................Louisiana
19 Robert Gill...............................................Florida
20 Elizabeth Keister (designee for RADM Whitehead)
21 ........................ 8th Coast Guard District, New Orleans, LA
22 Vernon Minton.............................................Alabama
23 Harlon Pearce...........................................Louisiana
24 William Perret (designee for William Walker)..........Mississippi
25 Robin Riechers (designee for Larry McKinney)................Texas
26 Bob Shipp.................................................Alabama
27 Larry Simpson...............................................GSMFC
28 William Teehan (designee for Ken Haddad)..................Florida
29 Bobbi Walker..............................................Alabama
32 Steven Atran..................................Fisheries Biologist
33 Assane Diagne...........................................Economist
34 Trish Kennedy............................Administrative Assistant
35 Stu Kennedy...................................Fisheries Biologist
36 Rick Leard..............................Deputy Executive Director
37 Michael McLemore.............................NOAA General Counsel
38 Charlene Ponce.........................Public Information Officer
39 Tina Trezza....................................Travel Coordinator
40 Wayne Swingle..................................Executive Director
41 Amanda Thomas......................................Court Reporter
43 OTHER PARTICIPANTS
44 Steve Branstetter............................................NOAA
45 Glen Brooks...............................................GFA, FL
46 Marianne Cufone....................................GRN, Tampa, FL
47 Libby Fetherston............Ocean Conservancy, St. Petersburg, FL
48 George Geiger...............................................SAFMC
1 Tom Jamir..............................................NOAA SEFSC
2 Vishwanie Maharaj...........................Environmental Defense
3 Dennis O’Hern.............................FRA, St. Petersburg, FL
4 Karen Raine..................................................NOAA
5 Hal Robbins..............................................NOAA OLE
6 Phil Steele........................................NOAA Fisheries
7 Bill Tucker...........................................Dunedin, FL
8 Donald Waters....................................................
9 Will Ward.................................................GFA, FL
10 Wayne Werner.....................................................
11 Elbert Whorton.................................................TX
12 Bob Zales, II, .....Panama City Boatmen’s Assoc., Panama City, FL
14 - - -
16 The Administrative Policy Committee of the Gulf of Mexico
17 Fishery Management Council convened in the Romeo and Julieta
18 Room of the El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio, Texas,
19 Tuesday afternoon, July 31, 2007, and was called to order at
20 1:15 o’clock p.m. by Chairman Julie Morris.
22 CHAIRMAN JULIE MORRIS: It looks like all the Administrative
23 Policy Committee members are here and so we can get started.
24 That’s myself, Susan Villere, Roy Crabtree, Phil Horn, Joe
25 Hendrix, and Tom McIlwain. We’re missing Columbus or Doug.
26 Nobody is here from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
28 Let’s take a look at the agenda. It’s at Tab I, Number 1. We
29 have the Approval of the Agenda, the Approval of the Minutes,
30 then we’re going to talk about a discussion paper that Dr. Leard
31 put together regarding annual catch limits and accountability
32 measures and when we’re doing with that, we’re going to discuss
33 limited access programs, guidelines that NOAA Fisheries is
34 developing. Phil Steele will help us with that and then we’re
35 going to continue our discussion of large volumes of email and
36 the staff strategy for that. Is there any other business? Is
37 there any opposition to adoption of the agenda? The agenda is
40 Please look at the minutes, Tab I, Number 2. It seems like, Bob
41 Gill, you had pointed out that the voting members of the
42 committee were -- It’s the same problem as the Reef Fish
43 Committee and so we need to adjust the list of voting members
44 who attended that committee meeting.
46 MR. VERNON MINTON: Steve pointed out that apparently they’re
47 talking about voting members of the council that were present,
48 but it’s my recollection that in the minutes we’ve always had
1 the voting members of the committee listed and I would like to
2 keep it that way. It’s less confusing to me.
4 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Thank you, Vernon. Any corrections to the
5 minutes in addition to that one that we’ve already discussed?
6 Any opposition to accepting the minutes with that one change of
7 representing who the actual voting members of the committee were
8 in attendance? Hearing none, the minutes have been approved.
10 DISCUSSION PAPER FOR PROPOSED OPTIONS FOR ACLs AND AMs
12 If you would turn to Tab I, Number 3, we’ll begin our discussion
13 of annual catch limits and accountability measures. As you may
14 recall, there was a workshop in conjunction with our meeting in
15 Alabama, I believe, an evening workshop on this that NOAA
16 Fisheries led, and we had a beginning discussion of this at our
17 last Administrative Policy Committee meeting.
19 We had hoped that the national guidelines regarding annual catch
20 limits and accountability measures would be a little further
21 along in time for this meeting, but we realized that they would
22 not be. Phil, would you like to just say briefly the progress
23 we’ve made on that?
25 DR. ROY CRABTREE: The guidelines are still under review within
26 the agency. My hope is they will come out as a proposed rule
27 sometime in August, but I don’t have a specific date at this
28 point, because we’re still internally discussing what the
29 contents of it should be.
31 MR. ROBIN RIECHERS: Roy, I know at the council chairs meeting
32 and executive directors meeting, you guys had indicated you had
33 hoped to leave the comment period open long enough so that each
34 council would have a chance to review that and them make
35 comments as a full council. Is that still the intent or do you
36 think we could end up missing our opportunity, given the
37 publication timeline now?
39 DR. CRABTREE: I think, Robin, that we have to ensure that every
40 council will have a meeting and an opportunity to comment and
41 that was certainly Bill’s and our intent at that time and I’ve
42 heard nothing that would lead me to think we would change that.
44 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: I’m looking for Dr. Leard. Rick, go ahead and
45 introduce us to this discussion.
47 DR. RICHARD LEARD: I can’t take credit for all of this or
48 blame. This is kind of a collective effort from all the staff
1 and I guess it kind of was borne out of the accountability
2 measures and whatnot that you were looking at earlier today in
3 the Amendment 30A.
5 In a general sense, we looked at annual catch limits, three
6 different options there. The first would just be yield
7 associated with fishing at FOY, pretty much as the Act requires.
8 The second one is total allowable catch and we looked at that
9 under potential scenarios of this being either -- It could be
10 actually above that FOY or it could be below it.
12 The examples there are with an overfished stock that’s under a
13 constant F strategy, you would expect -- As we looked at with
14 triggerfish and amberjack, you would expect that catch could
15 increase basically on a yearly basis for some period of time,
16 but the council may want to make a conscious decision to keep
17 that, as we’ve done in the past like with red snapper, and step
18 it up like on a three-year or a five-year timeframe, in which
19 case your actual TAC would be below what the FOY could be.
21 On the other hand, you may be looking at stock like Spanish
22 mackerel, where the current biomass is estimated at well above
23 FOY and so in that case, your TAC may be set at a level above
24 the yield associated with FOY, which it currently is for Spanish
25 mackerel. It’s actually even set above F at MSY, which we’ll
26 probably have to correct in the future.
28 Also, for stocks that we have or stock groups that we have very
29 little information on and certainly not enough to do a stock
30 assessment, you could use as your ACL some average of several
31 years worth of landings. As noted there, ACLs would have to be
32 established probably for both the commercial and the
33 recreational sectors and they may be different depending on what
34 the allocations are. As far as the accountability measures --
36 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Rick, let’s stop there and just have some
37 committee discussion. Are you all able to wrap your minds
38 around what we’re talking about here and is there any response
39 so far to what’s being proposed?
41 DR. CRABTREE: I think what Rick is laying out is fairly close
42 to where the guidelines will come out. I think you’re going to
43 have, in terms of an overall ACL, two components. One is you’re
44 going to have to define the yield associated with fishing at the
45 fishing mortality limit, which is the maximum fishing mortality
48 In almost all of our fisheries, we’ve defined that as the
1 fishing mortality rate at MSY and so you could have an annual
2 stock assessment that would estimate the biomass in the water
3 and tell you this is how much yield you would have fishing at
4 that rate, but normally we don’t have that though. We have
5 average yields over some period of time, which would be
6 basically similar to MSY, and then the ACL -- That would be your
7 overfishing level and the ACL would be basically your target,
8 which would correspond to OY and fishing at the FOY level.
10 The accountability measures kick in if you exceed the
11 overfishing level, not if you just go over your ACL. That
12 you’re expected to bounce around on and it would be going over
13 that overfishing level.
15 The real question becomes how far below the overfishing level
16 does the ACL have to be and that’s a question we’ll have to work
17 out. The problem we’re going to have is, because we don’t do
18 annual specifications and we don’t get annual biomass estimates,
19 these things are going to be based on averages over time.
21 You could, in theory, exceed your overfishing level because of
22 high recruitment and that’s going to trigger accountability
23 mechanisms, but you may get the stock assessment a year or two
24 later and find out you were not in fact overfishing, but things
25 were just better than you thought.
27 I think that’s going to be a real problem for us that we’re
28 going to have to figure out some way to work through and then
29 the other question we’re going to have to deal with has to do
30 with multispecies or single species ACLs.
32 I think if we try to set a separate ACL for every stock we
33 manage that that’s going to be a very difficult thing for us to
34 do. We need to start thinking about natural groupings of
35 species where we might could set up a multispecies ACL.
37 One that comes to mind, to me at least, is grouper. We’ve had
38 shallow-water grouper quotas and deepwater grouper quotas and
39 those types of things and so do you want to have a separate ACL
40 for every species of grouper or do you want to have an aggregate
41 ACL and try to manage them that way? I think that’s some of the
42 issues that we’re going to have to deal with.
44 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: That was very helpful and a very rich comment,
45 but I’m not sure we all followed it. It’s a little dense and so
46 I want to go through some of it and make sure we understand it.
47 The first issue that you raised is how far should the annual
48 catch limit be below the overfishing level. For us, the
1 overfishing level is usually the biomass at MSY, right?
3 DR. CRABTREE: The overfishing level would be the yield
4 associated with fishing at the MSY fishing mortality rate and if
5 that’s an average kind of yield, it’s basically going to be MSY.
7 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: We are familiar with the idea of OY being
8 stepped back from yield at MSY, but we haven’t talked that much
9 about an annual catch limit that would be different than optimum
12 Are you thinking and are the national guidelines thinking and
13 are we thinking that OY should not be the same as annual catch
14 limits and that annual catch limits need to be stepped back even
15 from OY?
17 DR. CRABTREE: Most of what I’ve seen, we’re thinking about the
18 annual catch limit being at the OY level, because you don’t want
19 to set a limit that would prevent you from achieving OY in the
20 fishery, because, that’s, after all, the major goal of the
21 Magnuson Act.
23 The easiest way to think of it is you’ve got a limit, which is
24 the overfishing limit, and a target and you’re going to manage
25 for the target, which is OY, and if you go over the limit, then
26 you’ve got an accountability mechanism that’s going to kick in
27 to try and make up for that.
29 MR. BOB GILL: I’m not on the committee and so I appreciate
30 being recognized. Roy, if you normally would set the ACL -- If
31 I interpreted your suggestion as setting the ACL at OY and
32 defining the overfishing limit at the MSY equivalent, why do we
33 introduce all this new nomenclature to accomplish where we
34 already are?
36 DR. CRABTREE: That’s a good question, Bob, and one of my
37 comments on all of this is let’s not add more nomenclature where
38 it’s not necessary. What we’ve found is if you go around the
39 country though, the nomenclature is not consistent from region
40 to region and so there is, in fact, no real consistent
41 nomenclature that people are using for these things. I agree in
42 concept with you, let’s not introduce any more jargon than we
43 have to.
45 MR. GILL: If I could follow up just a little bit, I understand
46 ACL was mandated and I understand that portion of it, but I
47 guess what I hear you suggesting is that by happenstance we
48 happen to be where they want us to go, if we follow the comments
1 that you just made.
3 DR. CRABTREE: I’m not sure -- I wouldn’t say we happen to be
4 there already, but I think if you look at in that kind of
5 context, it’s not a radical departure from where we’ve been. If
6 you look at us historically, what the practice of most of the
7 councils had been, we’ve measured towards the limit and not the
10 When we’ve, in the past, gotten assessments that show we were
11 overfishing, the question has been how much do we have to reduce
12 to end the overfishing. In other words, what do we have to do
13 to get to the limit, but not how much more do we have to cut to
14 get to the OY target.
16 I think that’s one of the major changes here, is that it’s going
17 to require that we manage toward the target. When we get an
18 assessment and it gives us a fishing mortality rate estimate,
19 we’re going to have to look at how much reduction to get to the
20 target level, which would be the FOY level, rather than just how
21 much do we have to get to get to the limit, which would be the
22 FMSY level.
24 It forces us to start managing towards the target and not the
25 limit and that probably is a change in practice with a lot of
26 councils over time.
28 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Thanks, Dr. Crabtree. I think that was a
29 helpful clarification of what this is going to mean for how we
30 set our management targets. The other issue you raised in your
31 initial comments was that we don’t really have annual biomass
32 estimates and so how can we set annual catch limits without
33 annual biomass estimates. Your suggestion along those lines was
36 DR. CRABTREE: The only way I really know to do it is to assume
37 some average level of recruitment and then estimate what the
38 yields are likely to be, but the problem with that is that you
39 may have unanticipated swings in recruitment, either really good
40 or really bad. If you have very high recruitment, they’re
41 likely going to catch a lot of fish.
43 In the commercial fishery, if we have hard TACs, we can close
44 them when the quota is caught, but in the recreational fishery,
45 if you have high recruitment, they’re probably going to catch a
46 lot of fish. On the other hand, if you have very poor
47 recruitment, they may be well within the ACLs and the catch
48 limits, but you may have problems in the stock.
2 In fisheries where you have highly variable recruitment like
3 that, that kind of approach is going to create problems for us.
4 It may be that accountability mechanisms that average catches
5 across multiple years can smooth some of that out, but it’s not
6 going to smooth all of it out and I think that’s going to be a
9 We can try to work towards getting more frequent assessments and
10 updates, but I don’t think we have a single stock that we assess
11 or get updates more than every three years now.
13 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: On those two points, committee, it seems like
14 the options, whatever we’re calling what is at Tab 3(a), the
15 options discussion paper that Dr. Leard introduced to us, we may
16 need to add to that discussion that this is going to shift our
17 emphasis to targeting OY in terms of our allowable catch and our
18 catch limit instead of just staying out of the overfishing
19 level, which would be MSY.
21 Then the second thing is that we’re going to need to use these
22 average biomass estimates instead of annual ones, which I think
23 you’ve already sort of addressed in here.
25 DR. LEARD: The only other thing that we added in here, and I
26 don’t know exactly how the guidelines from the agency are going
27 to address that, but if you do have a stock like Spanish
28 mackerel, which is not being fished, basically because of market
29 conditions and other things, and you have a very high biomass to
30 have an annual catch limit that may be set above FOY in order to
31 try to stimulate some additional catch in that particular
34 MS. BOBBI WALKER: Roy, can you explain to me again why ACL has
35 to be or needs to be equivalent to FOY instead of FMSY?
37 DR. CRABTREE: Basically, if you set your ACL at FMSY and that’s
38 your overfishing limit and so that’s the target you’re trying to
39 hit, you’re going to be above it 50 percent of the time and so
40 you’re going to be overfishing half the time and below it half
41 the time.
43 That’s not likely to meet the Act’s requirement that the ACLs be
44 set at a level that’s sufficient to prevent overfishing from
45 occurring, because in that type of scenario, you would basically
46 be overfishing about half the time.
48 MS. WALKER: Could we take care of it -- Correct me now, because
1 I’m trying to understand this. The yield associated with FOY
2 would be acceptable to the agency as being the ACL? Is that
3 what you said?
5 DR. CRABTREE: Most of the discussions I’ve seen to this point
6 are indicating that. If you think about it, if you have an
7 optimum yield level you’ve specified in your fishery, that’s
8 what you’re trying to achieve based on the Magnuson Act. If you
9 set your ACL below that, I think it would be difficult to argue
10 that you’re achieving optimum yield, because you’re below it.
12 If you consistently set your ACL above that, then I think it
13 would be hard to argue how you’re managing the fishery to
14 achieve OY and so just conceptually, it makes sense that the ACL
15 has to somehow correspond with the optimum yield level, because
16 that’s the target you’re trying to achieve over time.
18 MS. WALKER: I’m probably doing this too simplistic, but why
19 couldn’t the council just say that FOY in all of our species
20 will be our ACL? Why couldn’t you do it in larger complexes
21 than what you’re talking about? When you say take the grouper
22 complex, why couldn’t we take the whole reef fish complex and
23 then average those catches over three to five years? Is there
24 something that says we can’t do that?
26 DR. CRABTREE: I think that the guidelines are going to require
27 that you have to do it in a way that’s sufficient to ensure that
28 overfishing is not occurring. That’s the goal of all this.
30 If you make the ACLs too broad and encompass something like the
31 whole reef fish complex, I don’t think you would be able to make
32 the case that that ACL is sufficient to prevent you from
33 overfishing the constituent stocks. Maybe you can, but I think
34 that would be very difficult to argue.
36 I think though you could say, just as an example, you have a
37 shallow-water grouper complex and you’re going to manage it
38 based on gag or red grouper, because they’re the two species you
39 have assessments on. I think you probably could set up an ACL
40 for that that you could argue, based on the stocks you know the
41 status of, is sufficient to ensure that overfishing is not
44 The larger you make that grouping, I think the more difficult
45 that case becomes and the more you have species that are unalike
46 in terms of their life spans and life histories and the
47 fisheries that are going after them, I think the more difficult
48 that comes to be.
2 On the other hand, if you try to do ACLs for every individual
3 species, you’re not going to have any information to base it on
4 for an awful lot of the species we manage and then trying to
5 monitor all of those ACLs and deal with all the accountability
6 mechanisms I think will become unwieldy and very difficult to
7 do. There’s going to have to be a balance somehow of forming
8 groupings that make sense and can still meet the objectives.
10 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WAYNE SWINGLE: I guess in the recent court
11 case, we were told by the court that we had to have at least a
12 50 percent probability of preventing overfishing in our action.
13 How does that 50 percent fit into the ACL estimates? We would
14 have to have that, I presume, for all of our reef fish and then
15 maybe not have to have the 50 percent level for mackerel or --
17 DR. CRABTREE: I don’t know about that, but I think the goal --
18 I don’t know how the probabilities are going to come out in the
19 end, Wayne, but I think that overall, the goal of the ACLs will
20 be to have a higher than 50 percent probability of preventing
23 A lot of that is going to depend on what your accountability
24 mechanism is and in a lot of discussions I’ve been involved in,
25 if you have a fishery that you have very good science for and
26 you have very precise control over the fishery, for example you
27 can monitor the catches very closely and you can close them down
28 when a quota is met, in that situation you could probably set
29 the ACL fairly close to the overfishing level, because the
30 science is very precise and you have very close control over
31 what’s happening.
33 In a fishery where the science is less precise and in a fishery
34 where you have only limited control over what’s being caught,
35 because you can’t do in-season quota monitoring, for example, in
36 that case you would need to have a larger buffer between the ACL
37 and the overfishing level, because you can’t control what’s
38 going on as much.
40 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Thanks, Dr. Crabtree. You and Bobbi began
41 this discussion of when multispecies or single species ACLs
42 might be appropriate and it sounded like your point was that if
43 we could combine some data poor species with similar life
44 histories to species that we might have better data on that
45 might be -- You were talking about shallow-water grouper as an
46 example of an instance where a multispecies approach might be
1 Is there some committee discussion about this idea of annual
2 catch limits for either single species or multispecies and how
3 we could sort out what kind of limits would be appropriate for
4 what types of species?
6 MR. PHILIP HORN: I have a question for Dr. Crabtree. It’s not
7 in relation to what you just mentioned, but under this annual
8 catch limit and accountability measure plan, what are you going
9 to do if, for instance, a state doesn’t cooperate with federal
10 law and allows a stock to be overfished?
12 Is everyone in the fishery going to have to pay back -- Assuming
13 it goes over and something has to be done, how is that going to
14 be handled? That’s very possible in some of the things we’ve
15 been doing lately, where states do not have cooperative
16 regulations with the federal plans.
18 DR. CRABTREE: Let’s cut to a real-life example, which is red
19 snapper. My guess is if the analyses are based on compatible
20 regulations with the states and the states don’t provide
21 compatible regulations, then the federal season would be
22 shortened to compensate for that.
24 My guess is if we have ACLs and we don’t have compatible
25 regulations in the states, then the accountability mechanism
26 would likely result in more strict regulations in the EEZ to
27 compensate for that.
29 MR. HORN: My question is -- That’s my question. The entire
30 fishery will have to suffer for what perhaps one state did not
31 choose to cooperate with and is that what you’re saying?
33 DR. CRABTREE: I guess that depends on how the council sets that
34 up. Everything at this point is envisioning sector-specific
35 ACLs and so that could make a difference. I don’t know if you
36 could come out with a way to have the ACL reflect more of what’s
37 going on because of a specific state or not.
39 You’ve got to deal with the National Standards that say you
40 can’t discriminate against different states and how that would
41 all play out, I don’t exactly know.
43 MR. HORN: I have one more question. Would that give you more -
44 - I don’t know what the right way to say this is. Would the
45 federal government look at preemption more closely at that point
46 than they have in the past?
48 DR. CRABTREE: I don’t know, Phil. That is not a tool that’s
1 been used in the past and whether that would change or not, I
2 just don’t know.
4 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: I had been trying to manage this in a way that
5 we first talked about annual catch limits and then we talked
6 about accountability measures, but now we’ve started talking
7 about accountability measures and Corky and Vernon both want to
8 comment, but is it okay to wait and talk about accountability
9 measures and you guys will be first when we get there? All
12 Back on annual catch limits then, is there any more discussion
13 about the single species or multispecies approach to annual
14 catch limits? We got to the point where the whole reef fish
15 fishery would be too much, but maybe shallow-water grouper might
16 make sense.
18 MR. JOE HENDRIX: This may be repeating what’s already been
19 said, but what about regional? How would this impact regional
20 management of species?
22 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Give me an example of regional management.
24 MR. HENDRIX: We don’t have any regional management. Well, the
25 Texas shrimp closure.
27 MR. ROBIN RIECHERS: I may be wrong here, but how I think you
28 could deal with it is if we chose to use a regional management
29 approach and regions had different seasons, bag, size limits,
30 whatever the controls are, you would be setting -- There would
31 have to be some sort of designation of how much portion of the
32 annual catch limit that that region received and then they would
33 have their accountability measures that would deal with that.
35 Now, it could be the same accountability measures that the other
36 regions had or it could be slightly different, depending on how
37 they choose to manage their fishery.
39 When we talk about this, in reality we have had some regional
40 management in the past. We’ve had a Texas closure, which we now
41 believe has helped red snapper, though years ago it was deemed
42 that it did not help red snapper.
44 In Texas, we’ve had a commercial fishery that must abide by the
45 size limits and bag limits that are in the recreational fishery
46 throughout time in Texas waters. We’ve had a captain and crew
47 rule longer than this council has had a captain and crew rule
48 and so we have had regional management going on, to some degree,
1 in that fishery already.
3 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Joe, did you want to respond? Okay.
5 MR. CORKY PERRET: Robin, I think all states have some regional
6 management in their fisheries, but specifically, insofar as a
7 council-managed fishery, we definitely have regional management.
8 On king mackerel, we’ve got an east zone and we’ve got a west
9 zone and we’ve got an allowable take on the west zone and we’ve
10 got a certain volume on the east zone.
12 We do have, at least in that fishery -- I kind of go to Philip’s
13 question. If indeed four of the five states or three of the
14 five comply and sanctions have to be taken, would they be placed
15 on the entire EEZ fishery or regionalized off the state or
16 states that didn’t follow? I imagine we’ll have a lot of
17 discussion on that in the future.
19 DR. LEARD: Corky said what I was going to say. We’ve got
20 different trip limits and a number of things with mackerel.
22 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: We’ve talked about regional management and
23 we’ve talked about multispecies versus single species and we’ve
24 talked about -- Have we talked about what to do about data-poor
25 species in terms of annual catch limits? Could we have some
26 more discussion on that?
28 What we’ve said so far is that, as we usually do, we might group
29 data-poor species with other better known species, but what
30 about the idea of trying to come up with a plan to improve data
31 on data-poor species so that we could actually -- How do we set
32 an annual catch limit for something that we don’t have any yield
33 information on? What can we do in that situation?
35 DR. CRABTREE: There’s a couple of ways to go. One, we could
36 find some way of using some level of past landings, somehow or
37 other. Another way to go would be to group it into a
38 multispecies grouping kind of approach.
40 I think that’s something that we will need to consult with the
41 SSC on, because bear in mind as well that the ACLs cannot be set
42 above the fishing level recommendation that comes out of the
43 SSC. That’s going to be a real difficulty and I think that’s
44 one of the pluses for some multispecies approaches to some of
45 these problems.
47 MR. GILL: That brings up the point -- Relative to the SSC, are
48 they in fact having the same discussions to provide that
1 information in advance of what we do or is that cruising along
2 unguided at this point?
4 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SWINGLE: We have provided them a revision of
5 our SOPPs that indicates that they will take that action, but we
6 have not really had a discussion with them on that.
8 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Bob, it seems like it would be up to us to
9 request that they do that and so once we get the national
10 guidelines, we can get started on asking them to put that on the
11 agenda for a meeting or holding a special meeting to take it up.
13 It seems like one of the responses about data-poor species is to
14 ask the SSC what to do about that. I don’t know where the money
15 would come from, but we should maybe try to -- Just like we were
16 talking about in red drum, we should develop a plan to get more
17 data on especially the ones that are targeted.
19 Some of the data-poor species, they’re just caught because
20 people are fishing for something else in the same area, but
21 others of them are actually targeted and I don’t know exactly
22 what I’m talking about, but some of the deepwater groupers are
23 targeted and we don’t have much data on them.
25 DR. CRABTREE: There have been a number of discussions about how
26 to treat species that are just incidentally caught while
27 essentially going after other fisheries and how to handle those
28 and I’m not sure where that is going to come out, but that has
29 been something that folks have recognized that there might be a
30 basis for handling those types of species differently.
32 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Something that I wanted to ask about is that
33 it seems like annual catch limits are supposed to not just be
34 TAC or the focused harvest, but all the sources of mortality
35 from fishing. It’s supposed to also include bycatch and all the
36 sectors, all the mortality, the directed catch and the bycatch,
37 and is that right?
39 DR. CRABTREE: The catch limits will have to, in some fashion,
40 take into account total removals, all sources of mortality.
41 Whether your catch limit will be required to be total removals
42 or whether it can be the harvest taking into account the other
43 or not -- I’m not sure how that’s going to come out, but it will
44 certainly have to take into account discards.
46 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: In this options discussion that we’ve got
47 here, Rick, it’s focusing on TAC and yield, but I think the
48 discussion needs to include the whole idea of total removals and
1 accounting for each sector’s removal, both directed and bycatch.
3 DR. LEARD: I think that’s basically what our intent was. For
4 instance, average landings takes into account the discussion
5 that you’ve been having. With reef fish, we have some stocks,
6 amberjack and triggerfish that we just discussed, gag and red
7 grouper, that we do have stock assessments on.
9 When you get into misty and snowy grouper and you get into
10 mutton snapper and silk snapper and some of those things, we
11 don’t really have much information on them. You may have a
12 combination of ACLs just within the reef fish fishery, some that
13 deal more directly with the yield associated with FOY and the
14 others would deal with some type of multispecies approach of
15 using landings.
17 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Is there anything else on annual catch levels
18 before we move to accountability measures?
20 MS. WALKER: I have one question. Dr. Crabtree, I know in
21 previous stock assessments when they made recommendations on an
22 ABC range for a stock to the council that they had already taken
23 into consideration the discards associated with that stock, so
24 that when they made their ABC range it was for actual harvested
27 Are we going -- For those ABC ranges that we have associated
28 with some species now, if we do an ACL that includes discards
29 and we’ve got an ABC range that’s already considered that and
30 the ABC range doesn’t include discards, how is that going to
33 DR. CRABTREE: We’ll have to see where it comes out, but if the
34 decision was the ACL has to be total removals, then clearly you
35 would have to break it down though and say okay, here’s the ACL
36 for total removals and this much we expect to be landed and this
37 much we expect to be discards.
39 Otherwise, we’re going to get all fouled up on the
40 accountability mechanisms, because we have much more timely and
41 precise estimates of the catch and the discards are much more
42 complicated and more difficult to do. I don’t know if that
43 answers it exactly.
45 I think we’ve done the best we can in terms of specifying ABCs
46 that are taking into account discards. We certainly spent an
47 awful lot of time and detail on that in the red snapper
48 amendment. We’ve come a long way and are doing much better on
1 that now, but I just don’t know yet exactly how the guidelines
2 are going to specify that these things have to be laid out.
4 I think one thing we want to do is still leave some regional
5 variations to allow the councils to have some flexibility in
6 approaching these things, because the types of data we have and
7 the circumstances we’re faced with are very different from
8 region to region.
10 You go to the North Pacific and that’s one situation, but you
11 come to the Southeast, where we have big recreational components
12 to our fisheries, that’s a very different situation. The other
13 thing to bear in mind is we don’t really know what the
14 recreational data collection system we have is going to look
15 like in 2010, because it’s going to be changed. We’re going to
16 have to roll with some of these as things develop over time.
18 MR. GILL: With respect to data-poor species, I may be in danger
19 of restating the obvious, but it seems to me that while we all
20 want more data on whatever species are in question here, in
21 regards to what our chore is here, the planning has to assume
22 that we’ll have the same problem down the road and so we will
23 not have it and we’ll have to address them as data absent.
25 MR. RIECHERS: Roy, I’m looking at the Table I-3(b), just trying
26 to refresh my own memory on the stocks that we’re dealing with
27 and our time tables. 2010 is the time for anything that is
28 declared overfished and overfishing?
30 DR. CRABTREE: 2010 is the timeline for species that are listed
31 as undergoing overfishing, I believe.
33 MR. RIECHERS: Currently, for us that would be greater
34 amberjack, gray triggerfish and gag and, of course, we have some
35 -- We’re trying to build accountability measures into things
36 that are moving forward. The one that we would have to deal
37 with kind of in arrears would be red snapper and then all other
38 species by 2011 and is that correct? Phil Steele is nodding his
41 DR. CRABTREE: I think that is right, that we’ll have to do red
42 snapper, greater amberjack, gray triggerfish, and gag at this
43 point, by 2010.
45 MR. HORN: Whenever we have OYs and MSYs, the discards are
46 accounted for when we determine those, aren’t they, dead
47 discards or whatever? All that’s taken into account and so if -
48 - Early on, you were talking about perhaps OY and MSY being used
1 in some way to achieve a catch limit. All of those discards
2 would already be taken into account through the assessment
3 process, wouldn’t they?
5 DR. CRABTREE: I think that’s correct, Phil, at least for the
6 assessments we’ve done in the last four or five years. I can’t
7 speak all the way back.
9 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: I’m a big fan of instead of hiding that in the
10 assessment, bringing it right out in the document so we can see
11 what part of the -- We can see the total removals.
13 We tend to just focus on the catch and managing the harvest in
14 the catch, but for way too long, the bycatch numbers and their
15 contribution to the total removals have been a little bit hidden
16 from view and I think we need to bring that to the surface so
17 that we can see it every time we’re managing a fishery. Are you
18 now ready to switch to talking about accountability measures?
21 MR. BILL TEEHAN: I’m not on this committee and this is more of
22 a broader picture and it may not be germane to the immediate
23 discussion, but, Roy, is there anything that is going to require
24 a mechanism where you have jointly managed fisheries by
25 different councils, like the South Atlantic Council and Gulf
26 Council, where the allowable catch limits are going to be the
27 same or is it going to be different on the Atlantic and in the
28 Gulf or is that too far afield at this point?
30 DR. CRABTREE: I guess we do have a few stocks, spiny lobster
31 comes to mind, for example, which is a joint plan. I would
32 guess we would have one ACL for spiny lobster and we would try
33 to have our management coordinated with the South Atlantic
34 Council and so that’s one.
36 King mackerel is another one, which we’ve got another assessment
37 that’s coming up and we’re looking at how those TACs are going
38 to interrelate with each other, but it is conceivable in king
39 mackerel that a big overage or a big problem on one side would
40 have an effect on the allowable catch levels on the other side.
41 There could be circumstances, in certainly spiny lobster, where
42 one council’s actions will have to be tightly coordinated with
43 the other.
45 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SWINGLE: Roy, speaking of spiny lobster,
46 would we need to have different ACLs for the recreational and
47 commercial sectors in that? We’ve got separate fisheries that
48 are pretty far distinct from each other.
2 DR. CRABTREE: I think that in most cases -- Not necessarily
3 all, but in most cases, sector-specific ACLs make sense, because
4 when you get to the accountability mechanisms, you would want to
5 have them apply to the sector that went over. There may be
6 circumstances where that’s not the way you would want to go and
7 so I think you have flexibility.
9 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Now are we ready to move on to accountability
12 DR. LEARD: In looking at the accountability measures, we kind
13 of looked at that in two ways. First, how would you implement
14 them and second, who would do that? Of course, we basically
15 looked at it from the standpoint of like the council, through
16 its regulatory amendment process, or through frameworks, where
17 we’ve actually delegated authority to the Regional Administrator
18 to make certain specific adjustments, just by pretty much notice
19 action or publication of rules, or for the Regional
20 Administrator, primarily through either interim rules or
21 emergency rules.
23 As far as accountability measures, if you look there, we first
24 looked at in-season adjustments. These actions could be taken
25 to slow fishing down during years it may be approaching an ACL
26 target. This prevents an overage and possibly future
29 Some of the ways of doing this would be shortening the season,
30 obviously, reducing the quota by sector, reducing the bag limit,
31 establishing closed seasons or reducing trip limits, et cetera.
33 Also, as we’ve looked at before, in-season adjustments for the
34 recreational sector, unless or until we can get a better handle
35 on being able to monitor that sector, would be very difficult,
36 but it may be something that would be suitable for some of the
37 commercial sectors.
39 The other one is a zero tolerance policy and that’s simply
40 whatever the ACL is set, if you go over it in a given year by X
41 amount, then the next year you pay back X amount and the ACL is
42 reduced by that amount. On the other hand, as we looked at
43 before in Number 1, if you went over or above that, it could be
44 taken in some subsequent year to eliminate the overage in not
45 necessarily the next year.
47 We also looked at a three-year moving average and that was one
48 of the alternatives in 30A, where no action would be taken if
1 the ACL is exceeded like in the first year and it would not be
2 reduced until it’s evaluated at some period of time, two years
3 or some other time period later, or until the stock is
6 This would pretty much apply to stocks that aren’t overfished or
7 undergoing overfishing and not under sort of rebuilding plan,
8 but healthy stocks.
10 We looked at trigger mechanisms for reducing ACLs as an
11 accountability measure and these could be based on a number of
12 different factors. For instance, a maximum threshold, for
13 example MSY or, as I think Roy mentioned, setting some threshold
14 maybe between OY and MSY if there’s a large gap between there.
16 This would -- The closer you set your ACL, as Dr. Crabtree was
17 talking about, to MSY, then the more risk you’re taking of going
18 above that and getting into trouble. Again, this would probably
19 apply to stocks that their biomass is above the biomass at OY
20 and not one that was like on the borderline of BMSY.
22 Secondly, to set a percentage variation above the ACL and if the
23 ACL is set at OY and OY is equal to or only slightly less than
24 MSY, then action may be more urgent, since fishing above F at
25 MSY would constitute overfishing. That’s basically what I was
26 saying before.
28 Other factors that might influence the establishment of the
29 trigger mechanisms, and I think I kind of went through this
30 before too, is the status of the stock. If it’s extremely
31 healthy, then your accountability measures may not need to be
32 invoked as soon as or as vigorously as for stocks that aren’t
33 and also looking at the biology of the stock.
35 Long-lived stocks with long generation time that have a high
36 maximum age are also under a greater risk. You’ve got to look
37 at fecundity and growth rates to legal size and a number of
38 other biological factors need to be looked at when you’re
39 setting these accountability measures with reference to your
42 The last part of that is really just some examples of basically
43 accountability measures that we have currently in place within
44 the Reef Fish FMP and the coastal migratory pelagics, which give
45 certain authorities to the Regional Administrator to make
46 adjustments to harvest levels in-season and perhaps in
47 subsequent seasons.
1 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: I promised Vernon and Corky that we would get
2 back to their comments about accountability measures that they
3 wanted to make in response to -- Vernon, are you ready?
5 MR. VERNON MINTON: It was mentioned earlier what would National
6 Marine Fisheries Service do if the states were not in compliance
7 with the proposed closures and I would just submit that they’re
8 already doing that in the shark fishery.
10 That fishery -- When it closes, we have states that are open and
11 then that overage is taken off of the next trimester, or at
12 least that’s my understanding, and right now, we started off, in
13 the Gulf -- I believe in the first trimester we were 300,000
14 pounds over or something like that. It has happened, Roy, and
15 it’s a concern of mine and I’m being pressured within my state
16 as to why don’t we leave it open too for certain sharks.
18 It’s going to have to be addressed one way or the other, because
19 it’s just not a fair -- It’s a fairness issue, I guess, in that
20 we’ve got one -- I’m not criticizing the state for doing it,
21 because I think they’ve got good reasons, but I think we can
22 too, especially when you start looking at the assessment of the
23 sharks that we’ve got to deal with now and what we’re getting in
24 the Gulf compared to what the Atlantic allocations are. It’s
25 going to be coming up.
27 DR. CRABTREE: It certainly has occurred and I think it’s
28 occurred up in the Mid-Atlantic region as well. I think it is
29 going to be something we’re going to have to deal with and it’s
30 a tough problem.
32 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Corky is going to pass and so go ahead, Bob.
34 MR. GILL: Roy, the mechanism by which you mentioned earlier of
35 handling those kinds of issues, doesn’t that, in effect,
36 subjugate federal management secondarily to state management and
37 have the consequent problems with that?
39 DR. CRABTREE: I don’t know if it subjugates it, but the problem
40 with it is takes the problem created by potentially one state’s
41 management and it requires everybody who fishes in the EEZ to
42 share the burden of that and some will say that’s not fair, but
43 I’m not sure how exactly to do that.
45 MR. GILL: If you carry that to a logical limit and if you got
46 into a somewhat adversarial approach and all the states chose to
47 do that, they would drive the management of that fishery, in
48 which case federal management is not of consequence.
2 DR. CRABTREE: That is possible. I can give you an example of
3 where that may very likely happen. In the Caribbean reef fish
4 fisheries, probably 75 to 80 percent of the catch occurs in the
5 territorial waters and federal waters is a very small proportion
6 of it.
8 It’s likely we could close the EEZ down and still not end
9 overfishing and so there are cases where that could happen. Now
10 in the Gulf, with most of our federally managed species, the
11 vast majority of the catch occurs in the EEZ and so that is a
12 lesser problem, but it still is a significant problem that we’re
13 going to have to work on.
15 MR. LARRY SIMPSON: Roy touched on my comment, that the majority
16 of the take is in the EEZ, but if I might put Roy on the spot,
17 why don’t you just tick off the list of fisheries and the states
18 who don’t have compatible regulations?
20 DR. CRABTREE: I don’t think I could do that off the top of my
21 head, Larry, and be complete. We have some issues right now
22 with red snapper and we’ve had some issues with grouper along
23 those regards, but I don’t have a complete listing of all those.
25 MR. SIMPSON: I would venture to say that’s the bulk of them,
26 right? I’ll say it, Florida.
28 MR. RIECHERS: Ms. Foote, do we have BRDs in Louisiana waters
31 MS. KAREN FOOTE: I’m certain many people use them there, but
32 they’re not required by the State of Louisiana.
34 MR. SIMPSON: That’s a federal regulation, isn’t it, Robin?
36 MR. RIECHERS: We have it as a state regulation as well, but
37 it’s being compatible to a federal regulation.
39 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: I would like to talk about this idea of sort
40 of a three-year moving average, that there would be no action on
41 the -- No accountability measure would kick in if the ACL was
42 exceeded in the first year and that just seems really dangerous,
43 to me.
45 It seems like you could get to the third year and the catch
46 limit had been exceeded in the first two years to such a great
47 extent that you would have to completely eliminate the fishery
48 for the third year and I think that’s a dangerous route to go
3 MS. WALKER: My concern is a little different from yours. I’m
4 concerned because we don’t have real-time data. Roy, I think
5 you mentioned something about that, that on annual basis we --
6 We certainly aren’t going to have the recreational data. We
7 don’t get that in real time.
9 We don’t even get the commercial data in what’s considered day
10 to day or real time. I opened up the Magnuson Act and it does
11 definitely allow for including a multi-year plan. Why couldn’t
12 this council -- We get stock assessments, especially on the
13 species of importance, every five years.
15 Why couldn’t our multi-year plan go from stock assessment to
16 stock assessment? Why are you talking about only two years or
17 three years in averaging the ACLs? Julie, how would we get
18 information in a year to know what happened? We didn’t know in
19 March of this year what the recreational harvest was last year
20 in species and so --
22 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: The time lag now is six months or something
23 like that and we’re hoping that with the redesigned system that
24 that could be speeded up to two months or something.
26 DR. CRABTREE: The timeline now is less than six months. I
27 think you usually get preliminary data for a wave about three
28 months after the fact. As Bobbi said, you get the entire year’s
29 landings in March sometime or in April sometime, but you could
30 have looked at the waves that came in earlier.
32 It’s a problem and even with a redesigned MRFSS, I frankly think
33 in-season monitoring of recreational fisheries is going to be a
34 difficult goal to achieve. We’re going to have to come out with
35 some way that’s more retrospective and you look back and we
36 wanted to catch this much and how much did they actually catch
37 and what do we need to do about it.
39 Bear in mind too that we’re not talking about accountability
40 measures because you go over the ACL. We’re talking about
41 accountability measures when you go over the overfishing level
42 or the threshold. That’s where it kicks in.
44 The key here is to set the ACL and your target conservatively
45 enough so that the probability of your going over that
46 overfishing level is relatively low, so that the accountability
47 measures don’t kick in every year. That’s really what you’re
48 looking at.
2 MR. MINTON: I like what Bobbi said about utilizing the stock
3 assessment period to reassess these things, because I think, if
4 we remember back a few years ago, we had red grouper for two
5 years in a row that went up and everybody panicked and we had an
6 interim rule to shut it down and we finally got an assessment
7 and it said these things aren’t as bad off as we thought they
10 Typically, I think landings are not a strong indicator of the
11 status of the stock. They’re influenced by too many outside
12 things. We may have a strong year class show up, which we did
13 in red grouper. We have storm issues that come in and we have
14 all kinds of things.
16 I don’t know, even if we start some of this stuff -- If it shows
17 up that this stock is in dire straights and we’ve got to do
18 something right now and then we go to an interim rule, but not
19 on one or two years data. We’ve got to level this thing out to
20 the point where we put some sense back into this stuff.
22 DR. CRABTREE: Bear in mind though with red grouper there were
23 some fundamental assumptions in the assessment that were
24 changed, natural mortality and other things, that made the
25 status improve.
27 Remember, on the other hand, we exceeded the ABCs on greater
28 amberjack for several years in a row and now we’re coming in
29 with deep, deep, deep reductions to rebuild. We exceeded the
30 ABCs on gag for several years in a row and now we’re coming in
31 with deep, deep reductions because of that.
33 I would a lot rather be in the red grouper situation than in the
34 other side of it and I can name more examples of when we went
35 over and things got worse than the other side and so it goes
36 both ways on it, but I doubt that the guidelines are going to
37 allow extended periods for accountability measures or that you
38 undergo a whole SEDAR or a whole assessment process before you
39 do something.
41 I think that where we’re going to come down is you’re going to
42 have to set catch levels and you’re going to have to try to keep
43 things within those catch levels and it is going to be difficult
44 and there are a lot of problems with it, but my feeling is
45 that’s where these things seem to be heading at this point.
47 MR. MINTON: Roy, yesterday, when we were going through Reef
48 Fish, when we got there and Steve had used the term the “current
1 information” you corrected him and said no, that’s from 2004
4 What I’m saying is unless we get a reassessment of some of the
5 inputs that were used, like we did with red grouper, we’re
6 rehashing the same information and unless you change some of the
7 parameters, you should, hopefully, get the same answer. We’re
8 not doing anything. We’re running around in a circle.
10 We don’t get new information by just saying we look at the
11 landings and so forth. We need better information before we
12 make a decision and that needs to be done over a timeframe that
13 takes and smoothes out a lot of these bumps that are natural
14 that you see and not just react, react, react back and forth to
15 an up or a down with this stuff. I just respectfully disagree.
16 I think we need to level this thing out some more.
18 MR. RIECHERS: In the concept of leveling out a little bit, I
19 think that the action in 30A that we looked at yesterday, I
20 think it was Action 8, where we basically combined a three-year
21 average, those are the kinds of things that when you talk about
22 having one year of recruitment drive it or something that
23 happened in the system that drove you -- If we do go to those
24 kind of averages, that will help to smooth those kinds of things
25 out and I think we can do that, to some degree, assuming it’s
26 allowable under the guidelines that get set forth.
28 I think we’ve used some other options. Obviously, IFQs and
29 we’ve used some tolerance options. In the shallow-water grouper
30 fishery, where we’ve had kind of a step-down mechanism, whereby
31 as we started to reach the quota we took more stringent actions
32 and allowing them not to have as many things.
34 I think all of those are examples of the way we can do that. I
35 think much more problematic, and Bobbi hit on it a little bit
36 earlier, is what are we going to do with discards? We’re not
37 going to have the data to tell us whether we’re meeting those
38 goals or not.
40 What are we going to do with the recreational fishery? We don’t
41 get those in a timely enough fashion. They’re certainly going
42 to be next year adjustments and not in-year adjustments, at
43 least the way we’re getting them now. That’s the ones I think
44 we’re going to have to spend more time on, just because I don’t
45 think we have as many tools to work with there right now.
47 I guess with that, a question to you, Roy. Is there any
48 discussion in you all’s circles that things like -- For
1 instance, I’ll call it a data collection, a data collection
2 program on discards can be used as an accountability measure and
3 if we actually had an ongoing study that looked at that and gave
4 us a rate of discards on key species, are those the kinds of
5 considerations you all are having for accountability measures?
6 Does data collection come into that? Does it play into that
7 discussion at this point in time?
9 DR. CRABTREE: The closest that we’ve had are discussions about
10 -- I would say not in that. It’s hard for me to see how a data
11 collection program becomes an accountability measure, because
12 the accountability measure’s main goal is to mitigate for the
13 impact of exceeding the overfishing level, either in that year
14 or the previous year.
16 A data collection program could give you more information to
17 help you better set things, but it, in and of itself, is not
18 going to mitigate for whatever the impacts of overfishing, if
19 that occurred, were.
21 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Maybe this is what you just said, but it seems
22 like an important theme that’s coming out of this part of the
23 discussion is that we need improved data in order for this whole
24 scheme of accountability measures to work.
26 Are there going to be resources and priority given to generating
27 the kind of data that we need or are we kind of on our own and
28 we should just expect -- Should our expectations be that we just
29 work with the data that we already have and do the best we can
30 or will there be improved resources for the data that we’re
31 going to need?
33 DR. CRABTREE: I think there will be improved resources for the
34 data that we’re going to need. Certainly the recreational data
35 collection system is going to be changed and I think we as a
36 council need to, in putting our research priorities together,
37 need to start thinking about what do we need to do ACLs better.
39 The real question is going to be are the funds going to be
40 available in order to implement the new programs that are needed
41 for this and that really depends on what happens in the budget
42 world and with Congress, but my hope is that there will be some
43 additional funds provided to help improve these data collection
44 programs and implement the new requirements from the Act.
46 MR. SIMPSON: I think you hit on an essential and substantive
47 point. Some time ago, ten years plus, the states got tired of
48 treating symptoms and began to address the cure and it’s kind of
1 like Pogo, I have met the enemy and the enemy is us.
3 We have got to put aside all of our disunity and support the
4 basic things that we need to do to address management, whichever
5 way the management goes, for us or against us.
7 I think it’s incumbent upon a cross section of everybody in
8 here, the federal people, the state people, the users, the NGOs,
9 the constituency, to get unified behind one clear voice, to
10 whoever the decision makers are and in many cases it’s Congress,
11 to indicate that to do the job that this council and states and
12 others are asked to do require substantial infusion of dollars
13 and effort to get that information.
15 That’s not a lone voice crying in the wilderness and that’s not
16 the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission and it’s not me
17 saying that, but it’s people like the Ocean Policy Commission,
18 who are talking in billions infusion of dollars to the marine
19 activities and the Pew Commission and others and on and on and
22 We’ve got to put aside our issues and support with unambiguous
23 unity the things that we need to do and one of the basic things
24 is getting this information.
26 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Anything else on accountability measures? We
27 don’t have any motions or specific committee recommendations.
28 One idea is to take a break now and let Wayne and Rick and I
29 come up with a sort of list of the things that we would
30 recommend to the full council or we can just have that be
31 reflected in the committee minutes that we’ll bring to the full
32 council meeting.
34 Would you like to take a break and we’ll try to pull together a
35 summary for the committee to look at and then when we come back,
36 we’ll look at that and then we’ll move on to the Limited Access
37 Program Guidelines or would you like to just let us do that
38 after the committee meeting and it will come as part of the
39 committee report to full council and what would you like to do,
40 committee members?
42 Do you want to see a list of recommendations that we pull out of
43 the discussion while the committee is still meeting or do you
44 want to let us do it and we’ll just have it by the time we get
45 to full council?
47 MR. HORN: What is the timeline that the council is looking at
48 to try to come up with all of these measures in place to satisfy
1 the Magnuson Act? Is there a specific timeline that we’re
2 working under?
4 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: I think we heard earlier that for things that
5 are undergoing overfishing the mechanisms need to be in place by
6 2010 and for everything else, they need to be in place by 2011.
8 MR. HORN: This being basically the first real jam session, if
9 you want to call it that, I don’t think anybody really knew -- I
10 didn’t. I know what they mean and I just didn’t really envision
11 what would take place, but when the government hasn’t even
12 decided what their guidelines are going to be, it’s going to be
13 hard to come up with any real recommendations or anything.
15 I would recommend that you just set up another committee maybe
16 at every council meeting until you achieve this, but at least
17 have some kind of ongoing deal. I don’t think you can come up
18 with any recommendations today, other than have another meeting.
20 MR. HENDRIX: I think just having you and Wayne come up with a
21 list. It’s pretty straightforward of what we’ve discussed here
22 and we can discuss it again in full council and then, like Phil
23 said, continue to develop this. We’re not really ready to make
24 any kind of motions.
26 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Any other comment? Do you want to take a
27 break now before we go to Limited Access Programs? We’re going
28 to take a ten-minute break and come back to Phil.
30 (Whereupon, a brief recess was taken.)
32 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: If the committee members could take their
33 seats and other people could take their conversations in the
34 hall and while we’re getting back to our seats, see if you can
35 find a handout. It’s not an “E” version on the disc, but it’s
36 called “Guidelines and Procedures for Developing Referendum
37 Procedures for Gulf Council IFQ Proposals”. It was handed out
38 today. Go ahead, Phil.
40 NMFS PROPOSED GUIDELINES FOR REFERENDUM FOR GULF LAPPs
42 MR. PHIL STEELE: There’s three items that I would like to bring
43 the council up to speed on today. One is the limited access
44 privilege program guidelines and other one is an advance rule
45 for proposed rulemaking for LAPPs guidance and the third one is
46 I’ll kind of bring you up to speed on where we stand on the
47 referendum guidelines that we’re developing.
1 First of all, the LAPP guidelines and these guidelines have been
2 developed over the past year or so by our Office of Policy.
3 What basically it is is it’s IFQ-101. It’s a set of guidelines
4 to help the councils in developing limited access privilege
7 This council is fairly familiar with LAPPs, but these guidelines
8 are going to be made available to the public in the near future
9 as a NOAA technical memorandum and I think your staff now has a
10 pre-published copy of these. Like I said, it’s just a primer
11 for how to develop limited access privilege programs.
13 For the advance notice for proposed rulemaking, there’s been an
14 increasing interest by the regions, the councils, Congress and
15 so forth and the public for NMFS Headquarters to provide
16 guidance on the requirements of the LAPP provisions in the new
17 Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act.
19 I want to quote from the ANPR so we’ll know what’s going on:
20 NMFS announces its intent to develop an interpretative guidance
21 on the use of LAPPs programs as fisheries management tools as
22 described in Section 303(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
24 The proposed guidance is intended to assist the fisheries
25 management councils and NMFS regional offices in developing and
26 implementing LAPPs according to those guidelines put forth in
29 We’re inviting the councils, the interstate fisheries management
30 commissions, state fisheries management agencies, commercial and
31 recreational fishing groups, environmental groups and other
32 interested parties to submit comments on the LAPPs provisions of
33 the Magnuson-Stevens Act. We’re especially seeking comments
34 describing any questions on the application of the LAPPs
35 provisions and inputs on what topic --
37 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Excuse me, Phil, for just a minute. Is
38 anybody besides Bobbi missing the handout on guidelines? Philip
39 doesn’t have it either. Do you have additional copies you could
40 make or hand out? They’re working on it. Do you want Phil to
41 wait until you get them, Bobbi? Go ahead, Phil.
43 MR. STEELE: They’re really not that important and I’ll discuss
44 that here in a minute. Anyway -- Trust me. We’ll be coming out
45 with this advanced notice of proposed rulemaking and asking for
46 comments from the public in the near future, as soon as this
47 ANPR has cleared the Department of Commerce.
1 The third thing I wanted to bring you up to date with, I think I
2 had mentioned at the last council meeting that I would bring you
3 up to date on where we stand on development of guidelines and
4 procedures to determine guidelines and procedures for voting
5 eligibility for a referendum.
7 This little handout right here are not guidelines and
8 procedures. These are little talking points on basic guidelines
9 and procedures that we’re sending up to headquarters, we being
10 the Southeast Regional Office, on what we think the guidelines
11 and procedures for guidelines and procedures should contain.
13 A little background information, if you remember that last time
14 I gave you a little PowerPoint presentation on this. Trish has
15 assured me if I give it to you again one more time that she’ll
16 kill me and so I’ll go through it a little bit.
18 Under 303(a) in Magnuson, we have, we being the National Marine
19 Fisheries Service, has within year after the date of enactment
20 of the MSRA that the Secretary shall publish guidelines and
21 procedures to determine procedures and voting eligibility
22 requirements for a referendum.
24 What I can tell you on this right now is that the Northeast
25 Regional Office, the Southeast Regional Office and Headquarters
26 staff are still working to develop a proposed rule for these
27 guidelines. I was hoping we would have it for you at this
28 meeting, but we don’t.
30 There is, however, some language in Section 303(a) that I think
31 the council needs to be aware of as it applies to some of their
32 FMPs and there’s still some interpretation, I think, that we
33 haven’t received from NOAA General Counsel as to exactly what
34 some of this stuff means.
36 If you go through here, specifically under 303(a) for Gulf
37 referendum, the Secretary may not approve or implement a
38 fisheries management plan or amendment that creates an IFQ,
39 including a secretarial plan, unless such a system as ultimately
40 developed -- This is in the guidelines I sent you and this is
41 language I want to point out to you that the council needs to be
42 concerned with.
44 As ultimately developed and has been approved by a majority of
45 those voting in the referendum among eligible permit holders and
46 there’s language in there for multispecies permits and those who
47 have participated substantially in the fishery.
1 Let’s think about “as ultimately developed”. The idea here
2 initially was that the council would develop an IFQ program and
3 then submit the program to the Secretary of Commerce, at which
4 time the Secretary of Commerce would develop the referendum and
5 conduct the referendum.
7 The idea behind here is that the public probably needed to see
8 all the conditions and alternatives in the IFQ program so that
9 they could go forth and decide this is what they want.
11 There’s a little strange quirk here. Say the council did go
12 ahead and there’s an idea here that the council could go ahead
13 and tie the IFQ referendum and the IFQ program to one, like we
14 did kind of with the red snapper, meaning that the council could
15 say that we’ll vote for approval of the IFQ program if in fact
16 it passed the referendum.
18 What this does is it gives the council the option of say after
19 the referendum was passed and then the council comes back, for
20 whatever reason, and said we didn’t really mean that and we got
21 new council members and things have changed and it gives them
22 the option of disapproving the referendum if they wanted to.
24 You could go one of two ways and this has not been decided yet.
25 Either the council can submit the IFQ program to the Secretary
26 and then the Secretary can conduct the referendum or the council
27 can make the referendum part of the IFQ approval process. That
28 has not been decided yet.
30 There’s also some language in there that deals with by a
31 majority of those voting. There’s some concerns that does this
32 -- Some define this as a countable individual, one permit and
33 one vote. Some folks think that this may be a weighted vote.
34 There is nothing that specifically is addressed in Magnuson
35 about weighting, but there’s nothing that prohibits it either.
37 Some other things that the council needs to be -- Here’s where
38 we are kind of right now on this referendum criteria. The
39 general consensus so far is that the procedures and guidelines
40 should provide considerable flexibility to the council for
41 determining how they want to conduct their referendums.
43 The councils could adopt procedures as they develop the IFQ
44 proposal and after -- Again, we’re very early in the process of
45 looking at this thing.
47 Some of the definitions that the council and this committee
48 needs to consider, according to the language in Magnuson, is
1 what is an eligible permit holder, i.e., what would you base
2 your criteria on, an active permit with a defined range, permits
3 not subject to sanction. Multispecies permits, what is this? A
4 permit that allows harvest of more than one species? Again, the
5 last one is substantially fished. It’s defined by catch
6 history, income qualifier, control dates.
8 These are not things that the council has to decide on now.
9 These are things that the council has to have in place by the
10 time they submit an IFQ program and they want us to conduct a
13 Right now where we are, we’re in Phase 1, Phase 1 being for the
14 National Marine Fisheries Service and the Secretary and it would
15 be publish guidelines and procedures with a deadline of January
16 of 2008.
18 Milestone 2 would be the council is going to determine its
19 procedures for conducting the referendum and voting eligibility
20 criteria. This is Phase 2 and it’s not subject to Magnuson-
21 Stevens Reauthorization Act deadlines of January of next year.
22 However, it probably should pretty much follow closely to Phase
23 1, after we’ve developed our guidelines, so you can have these
24 in place by the time you submit an IFQ procedures to us. That’s
25 basically where we stand right now, Madam Chairman. Thank you
26 and I’ll answer any questions.
28 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SWINGLE: Phil, could the council, if it
29 chose to, use the recommendation of our AP for the preparation
30 of the IFQ for grouper of 4,000 pounds as substantially fished?
32 MR. STEELE: I don’t know why not. Again, the Fisheries Service
33 is going to develop guidelines and procedures to be as
34 accommodating and as general in policy as we can for the
35 councils to go forth with their own procedures and so I wouldn’t
36 see right now why that would be verboten.
38 MR. GILL: I have two questions, Phil. One is relative to your
39 handout. Could you identify the timeline from when the letter
40 is sent to the Secretary to the time the referendum is
41 completed, a ballpark number?
43 MR. STEELE: What we did with red snapper is that we started --
44 We initiated the referendum when we published the DEIS and that
45 could take anywhere from within six months, I would think.
47 DR. CRABTREE: One difference between when we did the red
48 snapper, the second referendum, is it was a second referendum
1 and the voting procedures had already been laid out. In this
2 case, we’ll have to put out a proposed rule that will propose
3 what substantially fished is, which we would come up with some
4 notion of that in conjunction with the council.
6 There will have to be public comment on that and then a final
7 rule saying this is what we’ve defined it to be and how we’re
8 going to do the referendum and then we could conduct the
11 I think when we get to a point in the deliberations on the
12 grouper IFQ when we feel comfortable with a proposal for
13 defining substantially fished, we could go ahead then and
14 develop the proposed rule and go out and get that part done and
15 then conduct the referendum as soon as we have a document ready,
16 whether it’s the DEIS -- The only risk of doing the referendum
17 at the DEIS stage is should you come back in after you get the
18 comments from the DEIS and you do your public hearings and make
19 a significant change to the program, we might have to send it
20 back out for another referendum at that point.
22 MR. STEELE: Just to add to that, if I may, also remember when I
23 mentioned to you the council, depending on how the guidelines
24 come down, could go one of two ways, submit the document as a
25 final to us and we go out with a referendum or tie it to the
28 If they tie it to the referendum and they come back later and
29 change -- After it’s already been approved and you change it for
30 whatever reason, we would have to go back out again also.
32 MR. GILL: My second question is, Phil, you referenced weighted
33 voting was permissible and I thought we had prior discussions
34 that indicated the MSRA did not permit weighted voting for us in
35 the future.
37 MR. STEELE: We are awaiting some guidance from NOAA GC on that
38 measure. It does not prohibit it, but it doesn’t make any
39 provisions for it either.
41 MS. WALKER: I’m not on your committee and I appreciate you
42 recognizing me, but my question is kind of along the lines of
43 what Wayne was talking about, which is defining substantially
46 Am I to assume that the council will make that decision of
47 defining substantially fished and that we could use anything
48 like a control date, anyone participating in the fishery, and
1 that it does not have to be poundage or income qualifier or
2 anything like that and am I correct in thinking that?
4 MR. STEELE: That’s correct, Ms. Walker. As I just told you a
5 few minutes ago, there’s a number of definitions the council
6 will deal with, the council, eligible permit holder,
7 multispecies permits and substantially fished. You can base
8 that on any number of qualifiers, control date, income, catch
9 history. That’s up to the council.
11 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: I have a question. I’m trying to understand -
12 - It sounds like we’re talking about a rule that sets out some
13 council-generated definitions regarding a specific IFQ program
14 that we’re considering for the grouper multispecies commercial
15 fishery or are you saying that the council needs to set up a
16 more generic rule that would cover all IFQs that we’re
17 anticipating in the future, set up a process and a definition
18 for that?
20 That’s one part of the question and the other part of the
21 question is why would we set up a specific rule -- It would have
22 to be your rule and so it would be a management action that we
23 would take that would lead to a NOAA rule regarding these
24 definitions that have to be made for an IFQ? I’m getting a
25 little wrapped around the axle here.
27 DR. CRABTREE: There are going to be two rulemakings. One is
28 going to be a Fisheries Service rulemaking, as required by the
29 Act. The Act says that the Secretary shall publish guidelines
30 and procedures to determine procedures and voting eligibility
31 requirements. That’s the Act.
33 We’re going to set up a general rule that sets up guidelines for
34 how you can then come back in and set up the guidelines to be
35 applied to a specific fishery.
37 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: If we’re moving forward with Reef Fish
38 Amendment 29, which is our managing effort in the grouper
39 fishery amendment, would we have to have -- It sounded like you
40 were talking about a rule about how the referendum would operate
41 that would proceed our final amendment that set up our plan for
42 how the effort management system would operate. Did I hear you
43 correctly when you were saying that?
45 DR. CRABTREE: I think what will happen is the Fisheries Service
46 will do the mandated within one year guidelines proposed and
47 final rule and that will be done by January of next year. Now,
48 we as a council will have to have some deliberations about how
1 we’re going to do this referendum and in particular, the issue
2 of what substantial participant means.
4 Then we will go out, when we have some recommendations from the
5 council, and we will publish a proposed rule proposing here’s
6 what we think that means and here’s how we’re going to do the
7 Amendment 29 referendum and there will be a public comment
8 period on that and we’ll review the comments and publish a final
9 rule saying here’s how we’re going to do it.
11 Then when the document is sufficiently complete that a member of
12 the public could make an informed decision about it, we will
13 send it to those who are substantial participants and give them,
14 I would guess, thirty days to review it and read it and then
15 they’ll cast their vote and send it back into us.
17 We may have to do some data work, depending on how we decide to
18 define what’s a substantial participant. We may have to go
19 search through and figure up everybody’s landings. If you were
20 to decide to use income or something like that, we would have to
21 figure out do we even have that or how do we do that. Depending
22 on how we define it, it’s hard to say how much work is involved
23 in pulling it all together.
25 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Just let me paraphrase. We have your NOAA
26 rule that covers everybody in the council world, all eight
27 council areas. No?
29 DR. CRABTREE: No, it’s only New England and the Gulf.
31 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: You’re going to publish a rule that allows us
32 to do limited access program in the Gulf in a general kind of
33 way and then we need to -- As we’re working on 29, we need to,
34 early in the process, develop what we would recommend the
35 language would be regarding defining substantially fished and
36 who would be eligible to vote in a referendum and that goes
37 forward into a rulemaking before we’re done with Amendment 29.
39 Then when we’re actually done with Amendment 29, instead of
40 sending it to the Secretary for approval and rulemaking, we send
41 it out for referendum and is that right?
43 DR. CRABTREE: Yes, I think that’s how it will go. That’s how
44 the red snapper went. We would, when -- As I said with red
45 snapper, when we had a DEIS or a fairly complete document, we’ll
46 send it out and do the referendum and report back to the council
47 and then if it passes the referendum, then the council would be
48 free to go ahead and vote to finally submit to the Secretary. I
1 think that’s how it will work.
3 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Is there further discussion? Is there any
4 council discussion or committee discussion on any of the issues
5 that Phil raised in his presentation?
7 DR. LEARD: I just had a question. Phil, did I hear you right
8 when you said or did you say that -- First of all, I guess
9 you’re going to publish some sort of technical memorandum about
10 the guidelines as to how the guidelines and procedures would be
11 done and then that would be followed by the proposed rulemaking
12 process and proposed rules?
14 MR. STEELE: The technical memorandum I was referring to was the
15 limited access privilege program guidelines, which I think you
16 all have an advance copy of them right now. It’s that how to
17 set up an IFQ-101 and that’s completely separate from the
18 referendum stuff I’m talking about. I think Assane has a copy
19 of those guidelines now. It’s just everything you ever wanted
20 to know about establishing a limited access privilege program.
22 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Is there further discussion? Is there
23 anything else on this agenda item? Any committee
24 recommendations on this agenda item? When do you think we would
25 need to -- If the NOAA rules will be ready by January, does that
26 mean by March that we should be making our determinations about
29 DR. CRABTREE: That would be a sensible timeline. We have
30 constituents who would like to see it done more quickly than
31 that, but whether we can get to that or not remains to be seen.
33 MR. RIECHERS: I certainly think we can take the three
34 definitions that Phil has outlined and start thinking about how
35 we would look at those in regards to the grouper IFQ that we’ve
36 discussed and start fleshing that out.
38 Certainly we would not be able to move on them until we get the
39 direction from National Marine Fisheries Service, but we could
40 go ahead and, I would think, start looking at some of the ways
41 we would think are the most doable ways of separating those
42 things out and determining who is eligible and what does
43 participation mean substantially and so forth.
45 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Does the committee want to work on that now or
46 do you want to put that off until the November meeting?
48 MR. RIECHERS: I’m not on your committee, but I would recommend
1 when we come back from scoping, which we’ll have some discussion
2 about this probably, as well as from that point at November
3 maybe if staff could put together some of the kinds of things,
4 the histogram of how many people land X poundage and things like
5 that, that would help us in understanding those different
6 participation levels.
8 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: The suggestion from our chairman is that we
9 have a little bit more background information and that we begin
10 talking about this in November, based on comments from the
11 scoping committee and some data about the whole universe of who
12 might be eligible to vote in this IFQ. Any other discussion on
13 that point?
15 MS. SUSAN VILLERE: Julie, do we need a motion on that?
17 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: No, I think we just -- I don’t know. I think
18 not. I think we just say that we would like it to be on the
19 agenda for the November Administrative Policy Committee meeting.
20 We have one additional agenda item and that is a Staff Report on
21 Handling Large Volumes of Email, Tab I, Number 5.
23 STAFF REPORT ON HANDLING LARGE VOLUMES OF EMAIL
25 MR. ATRAN: I guess that’s me and I’m just going to be very
26 brief. We ran into a problem, as you may recall, in May, during
27 the public comment period for Amendment 27/14. We had an email
28 campaign that at its height was delivering around 3,000 emails a
29 day, which overloaded our email system.
31 The bottleneck was with our anti-spam software. I think the
32 rest of our system could handle that volume. As of about two
33 weeks ago, we’ve stopped using that software. We’re now using
34 an outside service that will filter the spam for us.
36 We’ll have to wait and see what happens. During the past couple
37 of weeks, we were getting a few email campaigns in conjunction
38 with the aquaculture amendment, but at its peak it was about 300
39 emails a day, which even our old system had no problem handling.
41 We think we’re all set now. We’ll know for sure when we get the
42 next big influx. In the meantime, we are continuing to look at
43 some other alternatives, not only to make sure that we can
44 handle the volume of email, but to perhaps also find a better
45 way to organize it and make it available to the council. We’re
46 looking at some various software solutions for that.
48 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Thank you, Steve. Any questions for Steve?
1 Are there any other issues to come before the Administrative
2 Policy Committee at this time?
4 MR. TEEHAN: I’m not on your committee, but given Mr. Steele’s
5 comments on his fate if he gives the PowerPoint presentation one
6 more time, I would like to ask that we see it one more time.
8 MR. STEELE: I would be happy to show that to you, Madam Chair.
9 I did want to mention that given the timeline, by January the 1st
10 that we have to have these guidelines done, that we should have
11 a proposed rule out for comment fairly quickly.
13 CHAIRMAN MORRIS: Great. We are adjourned.
15 (Whereupon, the meeting adjourned at 3:05 o’clock p.m., July 31,
18 - - -