Council Approves NMFS Motion to Increase Observer Fees

Claiming to have understood industry participants’ concerns about the fee structure and performance of the Partial Coverage Observer Program, Glenn Merrill (alternate Council member and Assistant Regional Administrator), made the fee increase proposal below.

The new fee of 1.65% should go into effect during the 2021 season.

North Pacific Fishery Management Council Member, Nicole Kimball, also made the motion below related to “cost efficiencies” but missed the points made by stakeholders about poor program design.

All the members of FVOA and DSFU operate in the halibut and sablefish fisheries off Alaska. The vessel owners and DSFU crew pay landing fees in order to fund the partial coverage observer program. The fees are paid from the gross revenues of a fishing trip, collected by our shorebased processors who pay half of the overall fees.