Texas Shrimp Actions

Work Plan

List of Actions – Click on each action to jump to activity details

Action 1 – Increase TED/BRD compliance through gear checks and reporting.
Action 2 – Evaluate observer coverage levels and achieve statistically appropriate coverage level.
Action 3 – Evaluate current data collection methods and protocols of the Observer Program to determine if current methods are able to identify and quantify all Primary, Secondary, and main species as defined in MSC terminology.
Action 4 -Engagement with Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries to pursue a more well-defined Harvest Control Rule (HCR) in the event that the stock falls below established reference points.
Completed Actions

ACTIVITY 1: Increase TED/BRD compliance checks and reporting.

Reference

MSC PI 2.3.3
G.U.L.F. SBR: 7.2.2 (d), 7.2.2 (g)(iii), 7.6.9 (a)(i,ii,iii), 8.5.1 (a),
12.10(c)

Participants – All Participants

 

Target Completion Date– Annual Updates

 

Summary

Data on sea turtle interactions with the fishery is collected and monitored through enforcement and compliance checks carried out by NOAA, US Coast Guard, State resource agencies and trained Sea Grant agents. The NOAA TED Compliance Policy was recently implemented in September 2016. Increasing courtesy inspections will provide participants with verification that the vessels they are sourcing from are in full compliance and are operating efficiently and will increase the data available for use in meeting the requirements of the NOAA TED Compliance Policy. Participants agree to work with harvesters and docks to ensure that TEDs and BRDs are checked at least annually through courtesy inspections by either NOAA Gear Monitoring Team or Texas Sea Grant gear specialist. Documentation of gear inspections will be maintained by participants.

Texas Gear Evaluation Summary
Year Total # Vessels # Fully Compliant # With Non-Compliances #Non-Compliances Fixed On Site**
2016 18 11 7 7
2017 60 35 25 14

**Some Gear adjustments required more time than available during site visit. Participants acknowledged any issues and are committed to resolving them.

 

2016 Gear Evaluations

 

2017 Gear Evaluations

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ACTIVITY 2: Evaluate Observer Coverage Levels and achieve statistically appropriate coverage level.

Reference

MSC PI 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.3.3
G.U.L.F. SBR: 7.7.3(ii), 8.4.3(b)

Participants – Paul Piazza, Big Easy Foods, Cox Wholesale Seafood

 

Target Completion Date – 2021

 

Summary

The observer program for the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery is currently considered a “Pilot/Baseline” program according to NOAA’s U.S. National Bycatch Report. The NBR indicates that bycatch estimates for the fishery may be based on inconsistent or unreliable information and/or that sampling levels may have been inadequate or inconsistent. A statistical analysis is needed to determine appropriate observer coverage levels for the fishery. Participants will continue to work in conjunction with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Supplier Roundtable to request that the government perform an evaluation of the program.

Action 2 Progress
Date Progress Participants
March 2016 Meeting in Boston to decide on actions for Shrimp Suppliers Roundtable in 2016 Big Easy; Paul Piazza; Cox
April 2016 A Statement of Work with two actions (ecosystem and observer coverage) was agreed upon by all participants and posted. Big Easy; Paul Piazza; Cox
August 2016 A letter was sent to the NOAA Observer Program by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Supplier Roundtable (lead- Woods Fisheries) requesting a statistical analysis of observer program coverage for the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fleet. Paul Piazza; Big Easy; Cox
September 2017 Letters of Support to NOAA’s Cooperative Research Program supporting a proposal focused on data collection for bycatch and observer coverage. members of the Shrimp Suppliers' Roundtable

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ACTIVITY 3: Evaluate current data collection methods and protocols of the Observer Program to determine if current methods are able to identify and quantify all Primary, Secondary, and main species as defined in MSC terminology.

Reference

MSC PI 1.2.2

Participants – Paul Piazza, Big Easy Foods, Cox Wholesale Seafood

 

Target Completion Date – 2021

 

Summary

There is currently onboard observer coverage for the Gulf of Mexico federal shrimp fleet which collects data on non-target species caught by the fishery. Current observer reports, however, contain some large categories of unidentified finfish, crustaceans, and invertebrates with catch percentages higher than 5%. MSC Principle 2 requires the classification of all non-target species into Primary/Secondary and main/minor. Under the current reporting system, it is unclear if all primary speies and main species are identified. Primary spices are species targeted by other fisheries that are managed under tools, measures, and reference points. Main species are species that comrpise 5% or above of catch, or >2% if the species is considered vulnerable. Participants agree to engage NOAA Galveston Lab to address this issue.

Action 3 Progress
Date Progress Participants
March 2016 Meeting in Boston to decide on actions for Shrimp Suppliers Roundtable in 2016 Big Easy; Paul Piazza; Cox
April 2016 A Statement of Work with two actions (ecosystem and observer coverage) was agreed upon by all participants and posted. Big Easy; Paul Piazza; Cox
September 2017 Letters of Support to NOAA’s Cooperative Research Program supporting a proposal focused on data collection for bycatch and observer coverage. members of the Shrimp Suppliers' Roundtable

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ACTIVITY 4: Engagement with Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries to pursue a more well-defined Harvest Control Rule (HCR) in the event that the stock falls below established reference points.

Reference

MSC PI 1.2.2

Participants – Participants Paul Piazza, Big Easy Foods, Cox Wholesale Seafood

 

Summary

The recent MSC pre-assessment notes that there is a generally understood HCR; however, it is currently unclear what tools the management system would use should the abundance drop to levels near PRI (point of recruitment impairment). A well-defined HCR should be developed that includes pre-agreed rules and management actions to be taken in response to changes in stock status.
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COMPLETED ACTIONS

 

Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management

Reference

G.U.L.F. SBR – 7.2.2(d), 12.10(c)
MSC Principle 2 (2010 Report)- Ecosystem

Participants – Paul Piazza, Big Easy Foods, Cox Wholesale Seafood, Sustainable Fishery Partnership’s Shrimp Supplier Roundtable

 

Summary

The GMFMC and NOAA Fisheries have implemented several measures designed to maintain the functioning of ecosystems focusing primarily on bycatch, habitat and ETP species; however, there is currently no explicit ecosystem management plan for the Gulf of Mexico. The GMFMC has an ecosystem committee and NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Program has produced an Ecosystem Status Report for the Gulf of Mexico (December 2013). NOAA is currently working to develop an agency-wide Ecosystem-based Fishery Management Policy, which was available for public comment through December 2015. Participants plan to work through the SFP Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Supplier Roundtable to initiate outreach to the GMFMC and NOAA regarding further development of ecosystem-based fishery management in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management Progress
Date Progress Participants
August 2016 A letter was sent to Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Supplier Roundtable regarding implementation of Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management in the Gulf (lead-Big Easy). Paul Piazza; Big Easy Foods; Cox

Transition to a “Comprehensive FIP.”

Reference

Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions

Participants

Participants Paul Piazza, Big Easy Foods, Cox Wholesale Seafood

Summary

Some participants have requirements from their buyers to meet MSC-specific goals. These participants agree to conduct an updated MSC pre-assessment to assess the status of the fishery against current MSC standards. Once a pre-assessment is completed, participants will meet to discuss and incorporate results as necessary.

Comprehensive FIP Transition
Date Progress Participants
August 2016 MSC pre-assessment update commissioned. Paul Piazza; Big Easy Foods; Cox
January 2017 Updated Work Plan (transition to Comprehensive FIP complete Paul Piazza; Big Easy Foods; Cox

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