Highly migratory species blog

Reminder: Deadline for EFPs for swordfish and other highly migratory species is February 9, 2015

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

The Council is soliciting applications for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) to test alternative gear as a substitute to the large mesh gillnet gear currently used to target healthy highly migratory species (HMS), or to test new approaches or methods for using large mesh gillnets to fish with a significant reduction in bycatch. (more…)

Highly Migratory Species Management Team to Meet

Monday, January 12th, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) will hold a meeting from Wednesday, February 4 to Friday, February 6, 2015, which is open to the public.  This meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. and continue until business is concluded on each day.

UPDATED: Meeting Locations

The meeting will be held at two locations as follows:

Wednesday, February 4

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

Thursday, February 5 and Friday, February 6

Best Western Plus Inn by the Sea
Wind and Sea Room
7830 Fay Avenue
La Jolla, California 92037
Phone: 858-459-4461
Driving Directions

Meeting topics and agenda

The HMSMT will discuss assignments and develop reports for HMS topics to be taken up at Council meetings in 2015.  Topics on the March 2015 Council agenda that the HMSMT will focus on include 1) developing a Drift Gillnet Management and Monitoring Plan purpose and need statement and contents; 2) analyzing the range of alternatives adopted by the Council in November 2014 for bycatch reduction and monitoring for the California drift gillnet fishery; and 3) reviewing and making recommendations on exempted fishing permit proposals.  The HMSMT will also discuss the planned management strategy evaluation for North Pacific albacore tuna to be conducted by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-Like Species in the North Pacific Ocean and potential Council advice to the U.S. delegation.  Time permitting, the HMSMT may discuss initial planning for topics on future Council meetings including the authorization of a shallow-set longline fishery outside the west coast Exclusive Economic Zone and creating a Federal limited entry permit for the California drift gillnet fishery.

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 Dr. Kit Dahl at 503-820-2280, ext. 422; toll-free 1-866-806-7204.

NMFS Publishes Final Rule: “List of Fisheries for 2015″

Monday, December 29th, 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its final List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2015, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The final LOF for 2015 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals.

This final rule is effective January 28, 2015. Information regarding the LOF may be obtained from the NMFS LOF website. You may also download the Final Rule published December 29, 2014.

For further information, please contact: Lisa White, Office of Protected Resources, 301–427–8494; Allison Rosner, Greater Atlantic Region, 978–281–9328; Jessica Powell, Southeast Region, 727–824–5312; Elizabeth Petras, West Coast Region (CA), 562–980–3238; Brent Norberg, West Coast Region (WA/OR), 206–526–6550; Kim Rivera, Alaska Region, 907–586–7424; Nancy Young, Pacific Islands Region, 808–725–5156.

“The Line”, summary of West Coast fisheries news, December 2014 version available online

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Download The Line, Volume 3, No. 4, December 2014, a publication of the Pacific Fishery Management Council. The Line is a summary of West Coast fisheries news, for fishermen, published four or five times per year. This issue reports on decisions made at the November 2014 Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting.

You may view past issues of the Council’s newsletter and The Line by visiting the Council’s Newsletter Archives webpage.

Please direct your comments and thoughts regarding The Line or other public relations matters to Jennifer.Gilden@noaa.gov, Information and Communications Specialist at 503-820-2418, or toll free 1-866-806-7204, ext. 418.

Federal Register Documents published December 17, 2014

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Documents published on December 17, 2014 in the Federal Register that can be found on our Federal Register Notices webpage:

  • Fisheries off West Coast States; Final Rule; Regulatory Amendment to Pacific Coast Groundfish Fisheries Trawl Rationalization Program for the Start of 2015
  • Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; West Coast Region Vessel Identification Requirements
  • Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; West Coast Region, Gear Identification Requirements

Presidential Task Force on combating IUU recommendations released, comments due by January 20, 2015

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud released its recommendations for establishing a comprehensive framework to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. The recommendations are now available as published in the December 18, 2014 Federal Register notice and open for a 30-day comment period, specifically seeking input and guidance on how to implement them. The comment period begins on December 18, 2014, and closes on January 20, 2015.

For further information, please contact: Ms. Carrie Selberg, NOAA, (301) 427-8021; or visit NOAA Fisheries IUU Task Force webpage.

November 2014 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, November 24th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met November 14-19, 2014 in Costa Mesa, California. The November 2014 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.

NMFS seeks comments on Control Date for Large-Mesh Drift Gillnet Limited Entry Program

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

On October 28, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register: “Control Date for Large-Mesh Drift Gillnet Limited Entry Program”. This advance notice of proposed rulemaking announces a control date of June 23, 2014, that may be used as a reference for allocation decisions when considering potential future management actions to limit the number of participants in the large-mesh drift gillnet fishery that targets swordfish and thresher sharks.

To view the proposed rule and for instructions on how to comment, please see the October 28, 2014 Federal Register notice. Comments must be submitted in writing by November 28, 2014. If you have further questions, please contact: Mr. Mark Helvey, NMFS: (562) 980-4040, or mark.helvey@noaa.gov.

November 2014 Briefing Book Available Online

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

The Briefing Book for the November 2014 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.

November 12-19, 2014 Council Meeting

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Council to Consider a Variety of Issues Affecting Management of Future Coastal Pelagic Species, Groundfish, Highly Migratory Species, Pacific Halibut, and Salmon Fisheries

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory bodies will meet November 12-19, 2014 in Costa Mesa, California to address issues related to coastal pelagic species, groundfish, Pacific halibut, salmon, highly migratory species management, and habitat matters.

Listen to the Meeting

Agenda and Meeting Notice

Listed below are some key agenda items, which include Council considerations to:

  • Adopt final preferred alternatives for bluefin tuna management measures for 2015-2016 fisheries;
  • Adopt a final preferred alternative for the Pacific sardine harvest fraction parameter;
  • Adopt final changes to the 2015 Pacific halibut catch sharing plan and annual fishery regulations;
  • Adopt final recommendations for any changes to the lower Columbia River natural coho harvest matrix;
  • Take final action to rescind or revise previous Council action of open access registration under groundfish plan Amendment 22;
  • Adopt recommendations for adjustments to 2014 and 2015 groundfish fisheries.
  • Adopt final changes to salmon methodologies or conservation objectives, and the 2015 preseason management schedule;
  • Download a PDF copy of the November 2014 Meeting Notice and Agenda

Please refer to the detailed proposed agenda for a complete list of issues to be addressed. A schedule of advisory group meetings is provided on the last pages of the detailed proposed agenda. Copies of briefing materials prepared for the meeting can be found on our website www.pcouncil.org the week of October 29.

Meeting Locations and Arrangements

The Pacific Fishery Management Council and its advisory bodies will meet November 12-19, 2014 at the following location:

Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa
3050 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: 714-540-7000

All meetings are open to the public, except a closed executive session scheduled for 1:00 pm on Friday, November 14, 2014, to discuss litigation and administrative appointments. For more information on the meetings, refer to the detailed proposed agenda or call the Council office at 503-820-2280 or 866-806-7204 toll free.

Public Comment Guidelines

The public is encouraged to comment, either verbally at the meeting or in writing. Timing of agenda items may change as the meeting progresses, and items not completed on the scheduled day will be carried over to later in the meeting, usually the next day.

Oral Public Comments

Oral public comments will be accepted during the meeting prior to action on each agenda item.

Written Public Comments

Written public comments are accepted by the Council via one of the methods described below. The public is encouraged to submit written comments as far in advance of the meeting as possible, either by mail, fax, of email addressed to pfmc.comments@noaa.gov. Electronic copies of written testimony is encouraged.

  • Comments received by 11:59 p.m. October 20, 2014 will be included in the briefing books mailed to Council members prior to the meeting.
  • Comments received after October 20 but by 11:59 p.m. November 5, 2014 will be distributed to Council members at the onset of the meeting.
  • If you cannot meet this latter deadline and are going to testify at the meeting, you can provide written testimony for distribution by one of the following methods at the meeting. However, please note these need to be provided to Council staff at the meeting well in advance of your testimony.
    • Provide an electronic copy to be posted with other briefing materials, or
    • Provide 40 photocopies with the Agenda Item Topic Number in the upper right corner of the front page of each copy. Refer to the attached agenda for the topic numbers; i.e., Agenda Item B.1 refers to public comment under Open Comment Period.

This meeting is open to the public and is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Carolyn Porter at 503-820-2280 or 866-806-7204 at least five days prior to the meeting date.

One-Way Live Stream Available

The November 14-19, 2014 meeting of the Pacific Fishery Management Council will also be streamed live on the internet. The broadcasts begin at 2 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) Friday, November 14, 2014-Wednesday, November 19, 2014. Broadcasts end daily at 6:00 p.m. 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. To access the meeting online go to http://www.joinwebinar.com and enter the November Webinar ID, 430-417-591 and your email address. The online attendance can be done using a computer, tablet, or smart phone, using the GoToMeeting application. It is recommended that you use a computer headset to listen to the meeting, but you may use your telephone for the audio portion only of the meeting. The audio portion may be attended using a telephone by dialing the toll number 1-646-307-1719; phone audio access code 536-452-326 (not a toll-free number).