Coastal Pelagic Species blog

April 2015 Council Meeting Internet Live Audio Stream

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

This listen-only mode webinar is held daily, from April 11-16, 2015, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Pacific Time, or when business for the day is complete. (The only exception is a CLOSED SESSION that will be held on Saturday, April 11 from 8 am to approximately 9 am; noting the Council meeting starts at approximately 9 am that day). Please see the April 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 April 11-16, 2015 Webinar ID is: 109-418-027
  3. Please enter your email address (required)

Participants can use their computer’s microphone and 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 1-646-307-1721; phone audio access code 965-893-632 (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.

Pacific Sardine Facts

Monday, April 6th, 2015

There’s been a lot of attention on sardine management lately, as the Council considers what to do at its meeting in Rohnert Park, California, later this week. Here is some background information about the management of Pacific sardine.


The recent stock assessment of Pacific sardine biomass off the U.S. west coast produced two estimates of biomass, one of which is likely to be endorsed by Pacific Fishery Management Council’s  Scientific and Statistical Committee. Both estimates are below the ‘cutoff’ threshold of 150,000 metric tons; the Council’s harvest control rule for Pacific sardine management curtails directed commercial fishing when the biomass estimate falls below the cutoff. The sardine biomass is assessed annually, and the fishing year runs July 1 through June 30. At the upcoming April meeting, the Council will be recommending management for the fishing year starting July 1.

Sardine Management

The Council takes a precautionary approach to sardine management. When the species is abundant, moderately greater fishing is allowed. When the stock is in decline and/or when environmental conditions are unfavorable, the fishery management plan has built-in brakes, so that both the total amount allowed for harvest and the actual percent of the stock allowed for harvest both fall.  When the biomass estimate falls to the level of 150,000 metric tons, commercial sardine fishing is essentially shut down.

Sardines and the Environment

Sardine productivity is generally linked to ocean temperatures, but it’s not a perfect relationship.  For example, temperatures in the Southern California Bight have ticked up the past two years but we haven’t seen an uptick in young sardines that was expected.

Incidental Harvest

There are usually small amounts of sardines caught incidentally in other fisheries, such as Pacific mackerel, and the Council will have to determine the amount of incidental harvest to allow.

Economic Importance and Past Harvest Levels

The allowable harvest in recent years has been as high as 109,000 metric tons (2012) but has dropped as the biomass has dropped.  In 2013 the harvest guideline was 66,495 mt, in 2014 it was 23,293mt.

Although sardine fishing doesn’t generate the money that some other fisheries do, it is an important source of income for communities up and down the west coast.

Our Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation report includes a section on economics of the CPS fishery for the west coast.  It is slightly out of date, but it’s all that we have at the moment.  Exvessel revenues were $21.5 million in 2012. Sardine exports were valued at $44 million in 2010 and $34.8 million in 2011.

Council Role

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 for the purpose of managing fisheries 3-200 miles offshore of the United States of America coastline. The Pacific Council recommends management measures for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.


Pacific Mackerel Stock Assessment Review Meeting April 27-29, 2015

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a Stock Assessment Review (STAR) Panel Monday, April 27 through Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in La Jolla, California. The meeting is open to the public.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday April 27, and will begin at 8 a.m. each subsequent day. The meeting will conclude each day at 5 p.m., or until business for the day has been completed.

Meeting Topic

The primary purpose of the meeting is to review a full stock assessment for Pacific mackerel. The last full stock assessment was in 2011, with an update assessment completed in 2012. Catch-only projection estimates were completed in 2013 and 2014. The STAR Panel will consist of two members of the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee’s Subcommittee on Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS), plus two independent experts. The Council will use the 2015 assessment to establish annual mackerel fishery management measures and harvest specifications for both the 2015-16 and the 2016-17 fishing years. The Pacific mackerel fishing year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year. Representatives of the Council’s CPS Management Team and the CPS Advisory Subpanel will also attend the meeting.

Meeting Location

Pacific Room
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
8901 La Jolla Shores Dr.
La Jolla, California 92037-1509
Driving Directions

Additional information

The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at 503-820-2425, at least five days prior to the meeting date.

For further information about the work session, please contact Mr. Kerry Griffin at 503-820-2280, ext. 409; toll-free 1-866-806-7204.

April 2015 Briefing Book Available Online

Monday, March 30th, 2015

The Briefing Book for the April 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.

April 10-16, 2015 Council Meeting

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

The Council and its advisory bodies will meet April 10-16, 2015 in Rohnert Park, California to address issues related to salmon, Pacific halibut, groundfish, coastal pelagic species, and essential fish habitat matters.

Please visit the “Current Council Meeting” webpage for meeting and agenda details.

Final recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on IUU fishing and seafood fraud

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

On March 15, 2015, the Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud, released its Action Plan. Please see NOAA Fisheries IUU webpage to read the press release and download the complete Action Plan.

For questions, please contact Laurel Bryant, NOAA Fisheries (

March 2015 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, March 16th, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met March 8-12, 2015 in Vancouver, Washington, USA. The March 2015 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.

April 2015 Public Comment Deadline

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Public Comment Deadline – April 2015 Advance Briefing Book

Public comment materials received BY 11:59 pm, Friday, March 20, 2015, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the April meeting. This is known as the “Advance Briefing Book Deadline.”

Supplemental Public Comment Deadline

Public comments or materials received at the Council office after March 20, 2015, but BY 11:59 pm, Thursday, April 2 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the April meeting. This is known as the “Supplemental Public Comment Deadline.”

See the Council’s Briefing Book Public Comment Deadlines webpage for complete details on how to submit comments.

NMFS Releases Regional Electronic Technology Implementation Plans

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

NOAA Fisheries (NMFS) has released its regional electronic technology implementation plans. The West Coast plan is available here.

NOAA Fisheries is figuring out how technology such as on-board cameras, tablets, and electronic logbooks can be used to monitor fishing activity and report catch. One idea is to supplement human observers with digital video cameras and software capable of measuring and identifying different species of fish.

NOAA Fisheries has supported over 30 pilot projects that experiment with new technologies. They have created regional plans to identify, evaluate, and prioritize implementation of promising electronic technologies that improve our knowledge of the fisheries and empower fishermen and other citizens to become more actively involved in the data collection process. Click below to read plans for other regions:

These plans are works-in-progress and part of an ongoing process to improve the timeliness and quality of our fisheries information. Aiding this process are a series of white papers, an internal policy directive, and a draft discussion paper of advice and best practices to inform the public conversation about emerging technologies in fisheries reporting and monitoring.

NOAA Fisheries seeks comments on proposed revisions to the National Standard guidelines for federal fisheries management

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on a proposal to revise the guidelines for National Standard 1, 3, and 7 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The National Standard guidelines assist the eight regional fishery management councils and NOAA Fisheries in developing effective fishery management plans.

For further information, please contact Wesley Patrick, NOAA Office of Sustainable Fisheries, 301-427-8563.