Groundfish: Five Year Review: Trawl Catch Share Program (Amendment 20); Intersector Allocation (Amendment 21)

Following the requirements of its groundfish fishery management plan (FMP) and the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), the Council is undertaking a review of

  • the trawl catch share program (Amendment 20 to the groundfish FMP), and
  • intersector allocations (including Amendment 21 to the groundfish FMP).

Both the catch share program and intersector allocations went into place at the start of 2011 and a program review is required five years after implementation of catch share programs.

This webpage provides information on the review of these programs, including

See our “Getting Involved” fact sheet for general information on how to engage in the Council process.

Review Process

Overview of Review Calendar and Community Advisory Board

At its June 2016 meeting, the Council adopted a process for conducting the review that included hearings and a Community Advisory Board (CAB).  At its November 2016 meeting the Council provided guidance on a plan (“blueprint”) for the review document.  The following is an overview of the review calendar.

June 23-28, 2016 Council Meeting – Tacoma, WA Council approved review process.
Aug 31-Sept 29, 2016 Public Hearings in Coastal Ports Public provides comments on experiences and concerns.
Sept 15-20, 2016 Council Meeting – Boise, ID Council provides guidance on development of plans (“blueprint”) for review document and appointment of Community Advisory Board.
Nov 2-3, 2016 Community Advisory Board (CAB) Meeting, Seattle, WA CAB develop comments for Council.
Nov 16-21, 2016 Council Meeting, Garden Grove, CA Council finalizes blueprint for review document.
Thru Nov 2017 Further Council and Advisory Body Meetingsa/ Catch share review continues to completion.
Further work on intersector allocation depends on issues identified and workload priorities.

a/ A progress report will be provided at the April 2017 Council meeting.  The review will be addressed at the June 2017 Council meeting, at which time a first preliminary draft of the review will be presented.


Community Advisory Board

To assist in the review, the Council has appointed a Community Advisory Board (CAB) that is charged with providing the perspective of fishing communities on performance of the trawl catch share program, potential improvements, and other advice requested by the Council that may inform the program review.  For information on their meetings, see the Council’s “Upcoming Events” webpage.

Shoreside Trawl, IFQ Program Participant


  • Mr. Nate Stone


  • Mr. Brad Pettinger
  • Mr. Mike Retherford


  • Mr. Chris Kubiak
  • Ms. Michelle Norvell

Shoreside Nontrawl, IFQ Program Participant (Gear Switched)

  • Ms. Michele Longo-Eder

At-sea Co-op Participants


  • Mr. Dan Waldeck

Mothership Processor

  • Mr. James Mize

Mothership Catcher Vessel

  • Mr. Kurt Cochran

Shoreside Buyers/Processors

  • Mr. Andrew Bornstein
  • Mr. Jim Caito
  • Mr. Mike Okoniewski


  • Mr. Josh Churchman
  • Mr. Paul Clampitt
  • Mr. Robert Dooley
  • Mr. Kevin Dunn
  • Mr. Shems Jud (Chair)
  • Mr. Steve Scheiblauer


Upcoming Events

Scientific and Statistical Committee Groundfish and Economic Subcommittee Meeting

The SSC’s groundfish and economic subcommittees will meet May 24-25 in Seattle, Washington at the Watertown Hotel to review the West Coast Groundfish Trawl Catch Share Program Five-Year Review document (Updated document dated May 12, 2017, Agenda Item, F.2.a, June 2017 Briefing Book version).

Community Advisory Board Meeting

The next Community Advisory Board meeting will be held May 30-31, 2017 at the Sheraton Portland Airport.

June Council Meeting

At its June 7-14, 2017 meeting, the Council will review a draft of the catch share review document and provide guidance on finalizing the document for public review.  The Council will also review the draft intersector allocation review document (Agenda Item F.2, Attachment 2: Evaluating the Performance of Intersector Allocations Since Implementation of the Trawl Catch Share Program).



Past Events

Trawl Quota Program Workshop

A Pacific Coast Groundfish Quota Program Workshop was held February 16-18, 2016, in Portland Oregon. The workshop brought together working fishermen, vessel owners, processors, managers and others to discuss the current state of the trawl fishery and explore needed improvements. Workshop sponsors included the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and various interest groups. A report on this workshop was presented under the catch share program five-year review agenda item (Agenda Item G.5) at the June 2016 Council meeting.

Public Hearings

The Council conducted a series of coastal community hearings on the catch share program and intersector allocations. At the hearings, general questions were posed, such as: How have you been impacted by the trawl catch share program and the intersector allocations? What effects should the reviews of the catch share program and intersector allocation focus on? Links to the hearing summaries are provided in the following table.

Date (Start Time 7:00 PM) Hearing Location Hearing Summaries
Weds – Aug 31 San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo hearing summary
Thurs – Sept 1 Half Moon Bay Half Moon Bay hearing summary
Tues – Sept 6 Fort Bragg Fort Bragg hearing summary
Weds – Sept 7 Eureka Eureka hearing summary
Thurs – Sept 8 Coos Bay Coos Bay hearing summary
Mon – Sept 12 Westport Westport hearing summary
Tues – Sept 13 Seattle Seattle hearing summary
Weds – Sept 28 Astoria Astoria hearing summary
Thurs – Sept 29 Newport Newport hearing summary

Council Meeting – November 2016

At its November meeting, the Council received summaries of comments from the coastal hearings and a report from the Community Advisory Board (as well as other Council advisory bodies; see “November 2016 Briefing Book, Agenda Item F.6” for those reports).  Taking this input into account, the Council provided final guidance to the analysts who will be compiling information for the catch share program review.  This guidance constitutes the plan or blueprint for that analysis.  The Council also directed that a review of the intersector allocations be initiated over the winter and a progress report be provided at the April 2017 Council meeting.


Overview of Catch Share Program

For a general description of the trawl catch share program see the Amendment 20 webpage.  The program is fully described in Appendix D of the Amendment 20 draft EIS and the first four pages of that document (pages D-1 through D-4) provide a summary of the program as it was first implemented.  Since first implementation, there have been a series of trailing actions which have completed some elements of the program that were left outstanding, addressed problems that arose after implementation, and modified regulations that were outdated by the program.  Information on these actions is available from the trawl trailing action webpage.

The Amendment 20 program included sector specific catch share systems and individual allocations:

  • Shoreside Trawl Sector (all groundfish species, including whiting):
    • Manage with individual fishing quotas (IFQs).
    • Provide 90 percent of the initial allocation of nonwhiting IFQ to holders of vessel permits; AND set aside 10 percent of the initial allocation for an adaptive management program that may benefit processors and communities, among others.  (Note: To-date, the 10 percent set aside for adaptive management has been passed through to IFQ owners)
    • Provide 80 percent of the initial allocation of whiting IFQ to holders of vessel permits; AND provide 20 percent of the initial allocation of whiting to processors.
  • Mothership Trawl Sector (whiting and groundfish bycatch species):
    • Manage with a harvester co-op system and limited entry for mothership processors.
    • Assign catch history to catcher vessel permits and allocate to co-ops based on the catch history of the permits that join the co-op.
    • Require that vessels declare preseason the mothership processor for which they will fish in a coming year.
  • Catcher Processor (CP) Sector (whiting and groundfish bycatch species):
    • Create a permit endorsement to prevent expansion of the number of participants.
    • Allocate whiting and bycatch to the existing voluntary co-op.
    • Provide an IFQ program if the voluntary co-op fails (initially allocate IFQ equally among all permit holders).

IFQ for the shoreside fishery may not be delivered to at-sea processors, nor may quota allocated to the mothership or catcher-processor sectors be delivered shoreside.  The amount of allocation available for these sectors is determined through the intersector allocation process.


Overview of Intersector Allocations

The Council will be reviewing the intersector allocations contained in its groundfish FMP.  These include allocations established through Amendment 21 to the FMP, allocations of sablefish and whiting, and allocations established through Amendment 6 to the FMP.

Amendment 21 concerned formal, long term allocations of a select subset of federally-managed west coast groundfish species to the limited entry trawl sectors. The long term allocations of Amendment 21 reduced the need for trawl/nontrawl allocation action in each biennial specifications process. Trawl/nontrawl allocations were needed to support the Amendment 20 trawl rationalization program and establish for the trawl sector the sector responsibility for bycatch.  The Amendment 21 trawl/nontrawl allocations did not change formal allocations that were already in place for sablefish and Pacific whiting.  Amendment 6 established allocations between the limited entry and open access sectors of the commercial groundfish fishery.  Other than the allocations of sablefish, these allocations have not been used for many years due to constraints caused by overfished species.  Additionally, trawl/nontrawl allocations for some species continue to be set through the biennial specifications process.  For more detail on this amendment, see the Amendment 21 webpage.


Background Documents and Public Hearing Materials

NMFS Catch Share Review Policy Directives

NMFS Allocation Policy Directives

Fishing Community Hearings on Catch Share Review and Intersector Allocation

Hearing Handouts

Hearing Summaries

Hearing Summaries are available in the “public hearings table” on this webpage.

Other Background Materials


Contact Information