Discussion about Sablefish ITQ quota with Bob Dooley, fisherman rep to PFMC

FMC rep Bob Dooley met with CFSB fishermen to do a Q& A, mostly about Sablefish Quota

Wed. April 25th at 5pm in the Classroom

In attendance: Chris Voss, John Colgate, Mike McCorkle, Kim Selkoe, Mike Nelson, David Bacon, Gary Burke, ~5 more who did not sign in

Minutes taken by Kim Selkoe. They are partial (I wasn’t able to be there the entire time)

Comment from Bob:

There are actually large quantities of small Sablefish now, according to the stock analysis. That is happening along the whole coast up to the Aluetians. These small fish have been getting caught midwater with Pollock and whiting and hake. More recently they are getting caught in the bottom trawl - cohort going deeper. May be a big pulse coming soon? It’s a slow growing fish though.

Sablefish Allocation (Sam Tac) is doing a 5 year review. Original CAB (Community Advisory Board) of the 5 yr review, were a few council people but mostly community members. Bob was part of that as a community member. He is now in the the DFW seat and David Crabbe got Bob’s community seat.

(When they split off the Sam Tac body, each state got a rep with a vote, plus the chairman of the council = 5, plus NMFS = 6 votes. There are 7 or 8 non voting community members. Joanna Grabel got off the council, Margie Urenko said she doesn’t want to be a part of the SAM TAC. So Bob got the DFW seat).

Topic of the 5 year review was problems of gear switching. Whittling down the alternatives now. The concern is that only 20% of Sablefish allocation is taken. Non trawlers in the north want it reallocated to the north. Want to use it with tier fishery boats. That’s problematic. We have a trawl fishery here.

The amount of sablefish was determined by how much would be needed to take an amount of Dover out of the water that could economically support the size of the fleet. The fleet is shrinking due to shoreside infrastructure. But if CA lets that fish go, we will never see it back. The trawled fish will not come out of the water. However, if we don’t use all the quota it will very likely be reallocated. Bob would like to see all of the quota that is held in CA be used so that we don’t face a loss of fishing opportunity.

One idea that the SAM is considering: At the OR/CA border, the amount of Sable taken is at saturation. From 42-36 degrees, the take is at 50%, and below 36, there’s even less take. So, let the trawl guys who own the 36N fish to utilize that fish...

Rockfish attainment has climbed in the Central coast- allowing more midwater trawling.

In north, gear switching is seen as a bad thing. The reason it was allowed at the time was that Dover was having problems (or just erroneous surveys). If Dove ever dipped more, they wouldn’t be able to get the sable out so they turned to traps.

If we eliminate gear switch south of 36, there is no fishery. S. of 36 that’s all that happens. If the population is there (in the south) and expands, we may not get it if gear switching is eliminated.

However, if the next stock assessment shows all the fish are up north, this will lead to reallocation north.

SB fishermen:

We cannot use our quota until we have in a way that allows us to meet the observer requirement. We have small boats. We need EM, but there are no set guidelines yet on EM systems. We have been told to wait and see what the guidelines are.

Bob’s recommendation:

Get an EFP to get the observing system going. It allows you to fish with cameras before EM is implemented. Maybe someone to our north who has an EFP already would let us use it.

Theres a system out there that would be $300/mo plus $3K upfront. It uses a cloud based camera system.

Bob’s idea for smarter EM data analysis: Use it randomly 10% and only when there’s a red flag, eg. Log books or landing receipts don’t match the 10% data. Just having a camera on board, not knowing when it is on or off, will motivate compliance 100% of the time. Like a camera enforced traffic lights.

Who covers the cost of the camera footage review? Pacific states is covering the cost of review right now, but there is a cost directive for the future: all the review will be paid for by industry. In addition, any gov’t audit of the catch shares program will be paid for by the participants in the catch share program.

New topic- Trap limits in fisheries.

In a lot of fisheries, you increase the number of traps by creating a trap limit because the biggest guys lobby for large limits and every one feels they need to then have the limit. So then the end result is higher fishing pressure than before.