Improving Gear Marking in the U.S. West Coast Sablefish Pot Fleet: Workshop Summary Report
Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) held a virtual workshop on from 9am – 3:30 p.m. on November 16, 2022. The workshop was attended by 54 participants, including 12 participants that self-identified as commercial fishing industry members (full participant list in Appendix 1). OSG organized and facilitated the workshop, with assistance and guidance from a fishing advisory committee and NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region (WCR) staff.
The primary goal of the workshop was to engage with and solicit input from the commercial fishing industry on feasible and practical improvements to gear marking in the sablefish pot gear fishery off the U.S. West Coast to improve NOAA’s ability to identify the source fishery of large whale entanglements. A secondary goal was to gather ideas and input on potential measures that could reduce whale entanglement risk in this fishery.
The workshop included presentations (Section 3.2 and Appendix 3) that provided relevant background information and facilitated discussions and opportunities for submission of additional ideas for the group to consider (Section 3.4.1). Workshop participants were also invited to participate in an iterative rating (Sections 3.3, 3.4.2, Appendix 2, and Appendix 4) and prioritization process (Section 3.4.3 and Appendix 5) to determine gear marking, information resource, and risk reduction concepts with the greatest potential for feasibility and worthy of additional exploration by NOAA Fisheries and the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC). In addition to the prioritization process, during discussions, the workshop participants provided additional information and insights about some of the concepts (Section 4).
This workshop report summarizes commercial fishing industry input on feasible and practical improvements to gear marking in the sablefish pot gear off the West Coast to improve NOAA’s ability to identify the source fishery of large whale entanglements.
View workshop comments addendum.