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The Council took the following actions on groundfish at a meeting in Portsmouth, NH. While I summarize major decisions below, the full Council discussion will be available on our website and motions should be posted in a week or two. Please notify me of any errors or questions.

1. Annual Catch Limits: The Council discussed Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) at length and adopted a structure for setting and implementing them in Amendment 16. Further work will be needed to define the details of this new requirement.

2. Amendment 16: The Council reviewed and approved the alternatives that will be developed and analyzed for Amendment 16. This was an extensive discussion that took all day, so I will not list all decisions ? please see the motions when they are published next week. This list just highlights major changes - many other elements are still included in the amendment. A summary of alternatives considered by the Council is available on our web page in the Council meeting materials. Key decisions or changes include:

a. Sectors: Continued to move forward on developing sector policies. Adopted an additional alternative for calculating permit history/potential sector contributions: each permit?s share is based on 50 percent based on landings history, 50 percent based on allocated baseline Category A DAS. Removed rolling closures from the list of proposed ?universal exemptions? ? these exemptions are automatic and do not need to be requested by the sector. Exemptions from the rolling closures can still be requested by individual sectors. The Council added a few requirements for sector reports and operations plans, and proposed requiring sectors to develop adequate monitoring systems. The amendment will propose that for potential sector contribution alternatives that use permit characteristics, the date of January 29, 2004 will be used to determine permit characteristics.

b. Research Set Aside: The Council decided not to include a research set aside program in Amendment 16 due to a lack of time to develop the details.

c. An extension of the Eastern US/CA Haddock SAP will be included as an alternative.

d. An expanded season and area for the CAI Hook Gear Haddock SAP will be considered.

3. Emergency Action Request: The Council rejected a request to recommend an expansion of the CAI Hook Gear Haddock SAP (time and area) through emergency action.

4. Gear approvals: The Council agreed to recommend to NMFS that the Haddock Eliminator Trawl be authorized for use in the Eastern US/CA Haddock SAP and the Category B DAS program.

5. A recent NMFS permit holder letter prompted a discussion about the requirement that all fillets be landed skin-on (including for recreational/party/charter vessels) and whether this was Council intent. This requirement was included for all vessels in the Amendment 5 implementing regulations published March 1, 1994. Staff will attempt to determine whether this reflected Council intent.

6. There was a request that the PDT publish the so-called ?total capacity units? so that permit holders can calculate their own capacity shares. This information has been posted on the Council groundfish web page.
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