September 2015 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met September 11-16, 2015 in Sacramento, California. The September 2015 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document highlights the significant decisions made during that meeting.


Updated September 21, 2015: NMFS Salmon Fishery Regulations Booklet Available Online

Monday, September 21st, 2015

NMFS has revised their “online” salmon fishery regulations booklet. This booklet provides fishermen with a quick reference guide to the Federal regulations governing commercial and recreational salmon fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (3-200 nautical miles off shore) off Washington, Oregon, and California. The booklet is available:

Please note fishermen are advised to stay informed of inseason changes to the regulations and to consult Federal and/or State fishery management agencies for current information for the areas in which they are or will be fishing. State regulations, which may differ from Federal regulations, are in effect in State territorial waters (0-3 nautical miles off shore).

Actual notice of inseason changes to the Federal regulations will be provided as follows:

  • Ocean salmon hotline at (800) 662-9825 or (206) 526-6667. Recorded messages summarize inseason changes to date
  • U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners broadcasts. Announcements on Channel 16 VHF-FM and 2182 kHz designate the channel or frequency over which the Notice to Mariners will be immediately broadcast
  • Inseason changes to the Federal regulations are also published in the Federal Register
  • Announcements will be emailed to “Salmonlist” subscribers. Visit the “Signup for the Salmon Fishery Management Listserve” webpage to be added to that email list.

California Large Mesh Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Final Preferred Alternatives

Monday, September 14th, 2015

At its September 2015 meeting the Council adopted the following final preferred alternatives for management of the California large mesh drift gillnet fishery. National Marine Fisheries Service will implement these measures in regulations with a desired implementation date of the beginning of the 2016/2017 fishing season.  For more information on this action and the alternatives see the Preliminary Draft Environmental Assessment.

High Priority Protected Species Hard Caps

For the California large-mesh drift net fishery the Council adopted two-year rolling hard caps for high priority protected species based on observed mortality / injury. When observer/monitoring coverage is less than 75% the caps are as follows:

High priority Protected Species Two-year hard caps based on observed mortality / injury
Fin whale 2
Humpback whale 2
Sperm whale 2
Leatherback sea turtle 2
Loggerhead sea turtle 2
Olive ridley sea turtle 2
Green turtle 2
Short-fin pilot whale C/O/W 4
Common bottlenose dolphin C/O/W 4
  • When observer coverage reaches 75% or higher the Council will revisit the above hard cap values
  • Hard caps are based on and aligned with the fishing season (May 1-January 31).
  • The fishery would automatically close when any cap is reached or exceeded
  • Hard caps assume 30% observer coverage and would be applied to any mortality / injury regardless of the time of year.
  • Caps would not change mid-season.
  • Caps are informed by incidental take statements (ITS) in relevant biological opinions or estimates of potential biological removal (PBR) for marine mammals but are not directly tied to them. Changes in ITS/PBR do not automatically require a change to caps. The Council has the ability to revisit caps at its discretion, but does not have to automatically revisit caps due to changes in ITS/PBR.

Performance Objectives for Non-ESA-listed Marine Mammals and Finfish

Non-ESA-listed marine mammals

Species Annual performance metrics based on estimated total mortality/serious injury extrapolated from observer data
Minke whale 5
Short beaked common dolphin 66
Long beaked common dolphin 24
Risso’s dolphin 7
California sea lion 97
Northern elephant seal 6
Northern right whale dolphin 11
Gray whale 5
Pacific white-sided dolphin 22


The performance metric in a single fishing season is a total finfish retention rate of 70% based on the following calculation: retained catch / (retained catch + dead and unknown discards).

For the following finfish species / species groups the annual performance objectives are based on estimated total encounters (all retained catch plus all bycatch):

Finfish Species Group Annual performance objectives based on average annual total estimated encounters
Billfish (other than swordfish) 26
Prohibited sharks (megamouth, basking, white) 2
Hammerhead sharks 4
Manta Ray 2

Fishery Monitoring

Maintain the 30% target observer coverage level at a minimum and/or require electronic monitoring (for the purpose of catch and bycatch accounting). Remove the unobservable vessel exemption. Achieve 100% monitoring by 2018.



Friday, September 11th, 2015

Cautionary Note — These preliminary motions do not represent the final official administrative record.  The motions and amendments contained in this blog are as projected on the screen at the Council meeting at the time of the Council vote and often use expedited language and references without the benefit of any final editing or proofing.  They may use short-hand language or abbreviations that may not be clear without the context of verbal comments and clarifications made during their development at the meeting, or may contain inadvertent transposition errors.  They have not been approved by the Council to represent the final official record of Council action.  The final official record will be posted on the Council website after the Council approves the full meeting record at a future Council meeting.


Reminder! Groundfish Management Team to Hold Webinar

Monday, August 31st, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Pacific Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a webinar that is open to the public on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 from 1 p.m. until business for the day is completed. 

Read the rest of this page »


September 2015 Briefing Book Available Online

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The Briefing Book for the September 2015 Council meeting has been posted to the Council’s website on the “Briefing Book” webpage. The Briefing Book contains “situation summaries” (brief summaries that provide background for each agenda item), reports and materials for each agenda item, and written public comment. Advisory body and committee agendas and memos are also available.


September 2015 Council Meeting Internet Live Audio Stream

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The September 2015 Council meeting will also be live‐streamed on the internet beginning at 9:00 AM Pacific Time (PT) Friday, September 11, 2015 through Wednesday, September 16, 2015. Broadcasts end daily at 6:00 PM PT or when business for the day is complete. Only the audio portion and presentations displayed on the screen at the Council meeting will be broadcast. The audio portion is listen‐only; you will be unable to speak to the Council via the broadcast. Please see the September 2015 agenda.

Join the meeting in “listen-only” mode

Join the meeting in “listen-only” mode by visiting this link:

  2. Enter the Webinar ID – The September 11-16, 2015 Webinar ID is: 141-257-515
  3. Please enter your email address (required)

Participants can use their computer’s speakers (VoIP) or telephone.  (See the PFMC GoToMeeting Audio Diagram for best practices).

If you do not have a headset or computer speakers, you may use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number 1-702-489-0008; phone audio access code 418-407-809 (not a toll-free number); then enter the audio pin shown after joining the webinar. The webinar is broadcast in “listen only” mode.

Technical Information

System Requirements

  • PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 7, Vista, or XP
  • Mac®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
  • Mobile attendees: Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet (See the GoToMeeting Webinar Apps)

You may send an email to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt for technical assistance.

MP3 Audio Files

Approximately three business days after the meeting has ended, you may visit the “Past Meetings” webpage where you will find links to the MP3 and WAV files.


National Ocean Council Committee on IUU fishing and seafood fraud to hold public webinar August 25, 2015

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

The National Ocean Council Committee on IUU fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee) is seeking comment on its draft list of principles for determining species “at risk” of IUU fishing and seafood fraud, as well as a draft list of “at risk” species.

The public comment period is currently open. The NOC is offering an opportunity to comment via public webinar on August 25, 2015, from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. For information on that webinar as well as the public comment submission process, and the draft list of principles, please see NOAA’s Presidential Initiative on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud website.

For questions, please contact Danielle Rioux, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service (phone 301–427–8516, or email


Materials for the 2015 Pacific Sardine Distribution Workshop are now available

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Materials are now available for the August 17-19, 2015 Pacific Sardine Distribution Workshop. Please see the the Workshop Notice for the materials and complete information

Read the rest of this page »


NMFS Requests Input on Salmon Bycatch in Pacific Coast Groundfish Fisheries

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

NMFS held a public webinar on July 29, 2015 and posed five questions regarding salmon bycatch in groundfish fisheries to the webinar participants .

Written comments will also be accepted via email. NMFS will be preparing a work session report to the Council for their meeting on September 9-16 in Sacramento, California. Therefore, any written comments to be considered in the report must be emailed to:, no later than noon, Pacific Daylight Time, August 7, 2015.

This information posted as a courtesy to NOAA WCR.