Ecosystem-based management blog

NMFS Publishes Proposed “List of Fisheries for 2017”

Monday, August 15th, 2016

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its proposed List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2017, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The proposed LOF for 2015 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. NMFS must classify each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level of mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The classification of a fishery on the LOF determines whether participants in that fishery are subject to certain provisions of the MMPA, such as registration, observer coverage, and take reduction plan requirements.

Please see the Federal Register dated August 15, 2016 to view the proposed rule, and for instructions on how to comment. Comments on the proposed rule must be received by September 14, 2016.


September 12-20, 2016 Council Meeting Notice and Agenda

Friday, August 12th, 2016

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory bodies will meet September 12-20, 2016 in Boise, Idaho, to address issues related to ecosystem, salmon, groundfish, highly migratory species, coastal pelagic species, Pacific halibut, and habitat matters.

Please visit the September 2016 Council Meeting webpage for meeting and agenda details.


Public Comment Deadline for the September 2016 Briefing Book

Friday, July 29th, 2016


Public comment materials received BY 5:00 pm, Thursday, August 18, 2016, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the September meeting. This is known as the “Advance Briefing Book Deadline.”


Public comment materials received at the Council office after the August 18, 2016, 5:00 pm deadline, but BY 5:00 pm, Tuesday, September 6, 2016 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the September 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.


New Pacific Fishery Management Council Members Appointed

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

PORTLAND, Or. – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the appointment of Marc Gorelnik of California and the reappointment of Herb Pollard, of Idaho, to the Pacific Fishery Management Council on Monday. Nominations were submitted by the governors of the two states and approved by the Secretary. The appointments go into effect on August 11.

Mr. Gorelnik, a trademark and copyright attorney, will fill the California at-large seat on the Council, replacing Mr. Dan Wolford. Mr. Gorelnik received a J.D. from the King Hall School of Law at UC Davis in 1993. Prior to entering the field of law, he was a project engineer at Hughes Aircraft Company’s Santa Barbara Research Center, and earned degrees in physics and scientific instrumentation from UC Santa Barbara. He currently lives in northern California and has worked on fishery issues on behalf of California recreational anglers for several years. Mr. Gorelnik currently serves on the Council’s Salmon Advisory Subpanel, which advises the Council on decisions that affect commercial and recreational salmon fisheries. He is Chairman of the Coastside Fishing Club and is a member of the Coastal Conservation Association and the Golden Gate Salmon Association.

Mr. Pollard currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Council and will begin serving as Chair in August. He is currently serving his second term representing the Idaho Obligatory seat. Mr. Pollard was born in Lakeview, Oregon, and spent his early life in Lakeview and Klamath Falls, graduating from Lakeview High School in 1962. He attended University of Oregon for two years, before transferring to Oregon State University where he graduated with a BS Degree in Fisheries Science in 1967. Herb earned an MS in Fisheries Management from University of Idaho in 1969, and immediately started work for Idaho Department of Fish and Game as a Fishery Research Biologist. After a 28 year career with IDFG, including stints as Regional and State Fishery Manager, Anadromous Fishery Coordinator, and Regional Supervisor, he spent 10 years with NOAA Fisheries, dealing with Endangered Species Act consultations and regulations regarding fishery management, fish hatcheries, and harvest issues that impact listed salmon and steelhead in the Snake and Columbia River basins. Currently Mr. Pollard is working as an independent contractor consulting on fishery management issues. In addition to a professional career as a Fishery Biologist, he is an avid and expert recreational angler and has written and spoken extensively about recreational fishing.

Council Role

The Pacific Council includes members from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, as well as one Tribal seat. The Pacific 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 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.




Chuck Tracy Named New Executive Director of the Pacific Fishery Management Council

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

TACOMA, Wa. – The Pacific Fishery Management Council today named Mr. Charles “Chuck” Tracy as the new Executive Director for the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Dr. Don McIsaac, the former Executive Director, retired in April.

“We believe Chuck’s experience serving as both Deputy and Acting Executive Director and his in-depth knowledge of the issues facing the Council will allow for a seamless transition as the Council deals with important ongoing issues,” said Council Chair Dorothy Lowman.  “We are convinced he will be able to motivate the Council staff to continue their high level of performance and enable the Council to successfully take on future challenges.”

Mr. Tracy’s appointment is effective immediately.  He has been serving as the Acting Executive Director since Dr. McIsaac’s retirement; before that he served as Deputy Director for four years.

Mr. Tracy has a degree in biological oceanography from Humboldt State University with additional graduate level work in estuarine ecology. He has been with the Council since 2001, following several years of service with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife focusing on interjurisdictional fisheries issues, including Columbia River sturgeon research and salmon management. Before becoming the Deputy Director, Mr. Tracy was the Staff Officer responsible for coordinating Council activity on salmon fishery management matters.

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 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.



Reminder! Ad Hoc Ecosystem Workgroup (EWG) to Hold Webinar May 19

Monday, May 16th, 2016


Ad Hoc Ecosystem Workgroup (EWG) to Hold Webinar May 19

Monday, April 25th, 2016

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Ad Hoc Ecosystem Workgroup (EWG) will hold a work session by means of a webinar, which is open to the public.  The EWG webinar will begin at 1:30 p.m., Pacific Time on May 19, 2016, and continue to 4:30 p.m. or when work for the day is completed.

The purpose of the webinar is for the EWG to discuss and draft comments on the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy (NCSS) Western Regional Action Plan (WRAP).  A March 22, 2016 draft of the WRAP may be downloaded at The WRAP is being developed to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information and will identify priority needs and specific actions to implement the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in the region over the next five years.  Based on the webinar discussion, the EWG may submit a written report with its comments for the Council’s June 23-28, 2016 meeting in Tacoma, Washington. The EWG will also discuss progress on completing the Coordinated Ecosystem Indicator Review Initiative and plan future activities.  This initiative is an opportunity for the larger Council family to discuss the Annual State of the California Current Ecosystem Report’s indicator categories, what indicators should be part of the annual report, and how they interface with Council-managed fisheries to better support the Council’s ecosystem-based management policies.

Webinar Agenda

To Attend the Webinar

  1. Join the meeting by visiting this link:
  2. Enter the Webinar ID: 140-237-731
  3. Please enter your name and email address (required)

You must use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number +1 (631) 992-3221 (not a toll-free number); then enter the Attendee phone audio access code 621-588-987; then enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar).  (See the PFMC GoToMeeting Audio Diagram for best practices).

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 or contact him at 503-820-2280, extension 425 for technical assistance.

Public Listening Station

A public listening station will also be provided at the Council office.

Pacific Fishery Management Council
7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101
Portland, OR 97220-1384
Driving Directions

Additional information

This 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 503-280-2425 at least five days prior to the meeting date.

If you have additional questions regarding the EWG webinar, please contact Dr. Kit Dahl at 503-820-2422; toll free 1-866-806-7204; ext. 422.


Sam Rauch, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs of NOAA Fisheries, Visits Council on Anniversary of MSA

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Sam Rauch, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs of NOAA Fisheries, visited the Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting today to observe the 40th anniversary of Federal fisheries management under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and to discuss ongoing programs of National Marine Fisheries Service. The Magnuson-Stevens Act, or MSA, is the foundation of fisheries management in the United States, and was enacted on April 13, 1976. The MSA created eight Regional Fishery Management Councils that support transparent regional management of the nation’s fisheries.

“The strength of the MSA is that it created the Council system, which has worked extraordinarily well in terms of making sure that decisions are transparent, are science-based and have stakeholder input,” said Rauch. “It allows us to make deliberative decisions together, as opposed to in a black box. It is what has built the success that we have enjoyed. In the last few years we have consistently had either record or near-record landings, nationally. At the same time, we have also made significant strides in reducing the number of stocks that are on the overfished list, and that are subject to overfishing. Those continue to be at either all-time lows or near all-time lows. [The status of fish stocks] is something the Councils should be proud of, because this is where the hard work happens to make all that possible. The regional Councils are the bodies that make all the tough decisions.”

Rauch went on to discuss NOAA’s draft National Bycatch Reduction Strategy. The proposal continues the nation’s momentum on reducing bycatch—when fishermen catch fish they don’t want, can’t keep, or aren’t allowed to keep. Bycatch can also occur when fishing gear harms or kills marine mammals, seabirds, corals, sponges, sea turtles, or protected fish. NOAA Fisheries is accepting public comment on the draft strategy through June 3.[1]

Rauch also discussed the President’s task force on illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing. A new NOAA program beginning this fall will track the origin of certain at-risk stocks imported into the United States, leading to a safer and higher quality seafood product for consumers.

Recently, a peer-reviewed study determined that the U.S. fisheries management system meets U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization standards for sustainable fishing. “U.S. fisheries are the best managed in the world,” said Rauch.



March 2016 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met March 9-14, 2016 in Sacramento, California. The March 2016 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document contains the highlights of significant decisions made at that meeting. Results of agenda items that do not reach a level of highlight significance are typically not described in the Decision Summary Document.


March 2016 Briefing Book Available Online

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

The Briefing Book for the March 2016 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.