Friday, July 8th, 2016
At its June 2016 meeting, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) decided to accept applications for exempted fishing permits (EFPs) to test deep-set buoy gear for review at all future meetings that include highly migratory species (HMS) topics on the agenda. HMS topics are scheduled for the November 2016 Council meeting, the March 2017 Council meeting and the June 2017 Council meeting. This decision waives the regular schedule described in Council Operating Procedure 20 (COP 20), although the other provisions of this procedure will still apply.
According to COP 20, completed applications for EFPs from individuals or non-government agencies must be received at least two weeks before each Council meeting. (State and Federal agencies must submit the application by the advanced briefing book deadline.)
EFP applications must contain sufficient information for the Council to determine: if an exemption to the regulations is justified; the potential impacts of the exempted activity; and that the exempted activity would be expected to provide information useful to the future authorization of a deep-set buoy gear fishery. At its September 2016 meeting, the Council discussed key data gaps and research needs with regard to deep-set buoy gear to inform future gear authorization alternatives and permit program conditions. Since the Council is particularly interested in proposals that address these data gaps, prospective EFP applicants may want to review relevant materials on the Council website (see Agenda Item J.4).
At this time, applications must contain the following information:
- Date of application;
- Applicant’s name, mailing address, and telephone number;
- A statement of the purpose and goals of the experiment for which an EFP is needed, including a general description of the arrangements for the disposition of all species harvested under the EFP;
- Justification for EFP issuance;
- A statement of whether the proposed experimental fishing has broader significance than the applicant’s individual goals;
- An expected total duration of the EFP (i.e., number of years proposed to conduct exempted fishing activities);
- Number of vessels covered under the EFP;
- A description of the species (target and incidental) to be harvested under the EFP and the amount(s) of such harvest necessary to conduct the experiment, including harvest estimates of overfished species and protected species;
- A description of a mechanism, such as at-sea fishery monitoring, to ensure that the harvest limits for targeted and incidental species are not exceeded and are accurately accounted for;
- A description of the proposed data collection and analysis methodology;
- A description of how vessels will be chosen to participate in the EFP;
- For each vessel covered by the EFP, the approximate time(s) and place(s) fishing will take place, and the type, size, and amount of gear to be used;
- The signature of the applicant(s);
The Council is expected to review a deep-set buoy gear EFP “application template” at its November 2016 meeting, intended to make it easier to complete an application. Once the application template is finalized it will be posted on this webpage.
Deadlines for Submitting Applications
- September 2016 Council meeting: Monday, August 29, 2016
- November 2016 Council meeting: Wednesday, November 2, 2016
- March 2017 Council meeting: Tuesday, February 21, 2017
- June 2017 Council meeting: Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Applications may be submitted by mail, fax, or email:
Pacific Fishery Management Council
Attn: HMS EFP Application
7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101
Portland, OR 97220
Attn: HMS EFP Application (503) 820-2299
Put “HMS EFP application” in the subject line
Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with members of the Council’s Highly Migratory Management Team (HMSMT), Council staff, or National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) staff when preparing an application. The HMSMT roster lists contact information for its members. Dr. Kit Dahl is the point of contact for Council staff; phone: (503) 820-2422 (toll-free 1-866-806-7204). Mr. Chris Fanning is the point of contact at the NMFS West Coast Region; phone: (562) 980-4198.Region; phone: (562) 980-4198.