Highly migratory species blog

California Large Mesh Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Final Preferred Alternatives

Monday, September 14th, 2015

At its September 2015 meeting the Council adopted the following final preferred alternatives for management of the California large mesh drift gillnet fishery. National Marine Fisheries Service will implement these measures in regulations with a desired implementation date of the beginning of the 2016/2017 fishing season.  For more information on this action and the alternatives see the Preliminary Draft Environmental Assessment.

High Priority Protected Species Hard Caps

For the California large-mesh drift net fishery the Council adopted two-year rolling hard caps for high priority protected species based on observed mortality / injury. When observer/monitoring coverage is less than 75% the caps are as follows:

High priority Protected Species Two-year hard caps based on observed mortality / injury
Fin whale 2
Humpback whale 2
Sperm whale 2
Leatherback sea turtle 2
Loggerhead sea turtle 2
Olive ridley sea turtle 2
Green turtle 2
Short-fin pilot whale C/O/W 4
Common bottlenose dolphin C/O/W 4
  • When observer coverage reaches 75% or higher the Council will revisit the above hard cap values
  • Hard caps are based on and aligned with the fishing season (May 1-January 31).
  • The fishery would automatically close when any cap is reached or exceeded
  • Hard caps assume 30% observer coverage and would be applied to any mortality / injury regardless of the time of year.
  • Caps would not change mid-season.
  • Caps are informed by incidental take statements (ITS) in relevant biological opinions or estimates of potential biological removal (PBR) for marine mammals but are not directly tied to them. Changes in ITS/PBR do not automatically require a change to caps. The Council has the ability to revisit caps at its discretion, but does not have to automatically revisit caps due to changes in ITS/PBR.

Performance Objectives for Non-ESA-listed Marine Mammals and Finfish

Non-ESA-listed marine mammals

Species Annual performance metrics based on estimated total mortality/serious injury extrapolated from observer data
Minke whale 5
Short beaked common dolphin 66
Long beaked common dolphin 24
Risso’s dolphin 7
California sea lion 97
Northern elephant seal 6
Northern right whale dolphin 11
Gray whale 5
Pacific white-sided dolphin 22


The performance metric in a single fishing season is a total finfish retention rate of 70% based on the following calculation: retained catch / (retained catch + dead and unknown discards).

For the following finfish species / species groups the annual performance objectives are based on estimated total encounters (all retained catch plus all bycatch):

Finfish Species Group Annual performance objectives based on average annual total estimated encounters
Billfish (other than swordfish) 26
Prohibited sharks (megamouth, basking, white) 2
Hammerhead sharks 4
Manta Ray 2

Fishery Monitoring

Maintain the 30% target observer coverage level at a minimum and/or require electronic monitoring (for the purpose of catch and bycatch accounting). Remove the unobservable vessel exemption. Achieve 100% monitoring by 2018.


September 2015 Briefing Book Available Online

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The Briefing Book for the September 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.


September 2015 Council Meeting Internet Live Audio Stream

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The September 2015 Council meeting will also be live‐streamed on the internet beginning at 9:00 AM Pacific Time (PT) Friday, September 11, 2015 through Wednesday, September 16, 2015. Broadcasts end daily at 6:00 PM 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. Please see the September 2015 agenda.

Join the meeting in “listen-only” mode

Join the meeting in “listen-only” mode by visiting this link:

  1. http://www.gotomeeting.com/online/webinar/join-webinar
  2. Enter the Webinar ID – The September 11-16, 2015 Webinar ID is: 141-257-515
  3. Please enter your email address (required)

Participants can use their computer’s 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 1-702-489-0008; phone audio access code 418-407-809 (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.


National Ocean Council Committee on IUU fishing and seafood fraud to hold public webinar August 25, 2015

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

The National Ocean Council Committee on IUU fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOC Committee) is seeking comment on its draft list of principles for determining species “at risk” of IUU fishing and seafood fraud, as well as a draft list of “at risk” species.

The public comment period is currently open. The NOC is offering an opportunity to comment via public webinar on August 25, 2015, from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. For information on that webinar as well as the public comment submission process, and the draft list of principles, please see NOAA’s Presidential Initiative on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud website.

For questions, please contact Danielle Rioux, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service (phone 301–427–8516, or email Danielle.Rioux@noaa.gov).


September 9-16, 2015 Council Meeting

Monday, August 10th, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council and its advisory bodies will meet September 9‐16, 2015 in Sacramento, California,  to address issues related to management of groundfish, highly migratory species, ecosystem management, salmon, Pacific halibut, and habitat matters.

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


“The Line” July 2015

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

The Line, Volume 4, No. 2, July 2015 is now available on the Council’s website. The Line is a summary of West Coast fisheries news published four or five times per year. This issue reports on decisions made at the June 2015 Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting.

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

If you have comments, questions, or suggestions regarding The Line, July 2015, please direct them to: Ms. Jennifer Gilden, Information and Communications Specialist at (503) 820-2280 ext. 418 or toll free: 1-866-806-7204.


Summer 2015 Newsletter Available Online

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

The Summer 2015 issue of Pacific Council News is now available on the Council’s website. You may view past issues of the Council’s newsletter by visiting the Council’s Newsletter Archives webpage.

If you have comments, questions, or suggestions regarding Pacific Council News, Summer 2015, please direct them to: Ms. Jennifer Gilden, Information and Communications Specialist at (503) 820-2280 ext. 418 or toll free: 1-866-806-7204.


Public Comment Deadline for the September 2015 Briefing Book

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Public Comment Deadline – September 2015 Advance Briefing Book

Public comment materials received BY 11:59 pm, Friday, August 14, 2015, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the September meeting. This is known as the “Advance Briefing Book Deadline.”

Supplemental Public Comment Deadline

Public comment materials received at the Council office after August 14, 2015, but BY 11:59 pm, Wednesday, September 2 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.


June 2015 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met June 12-16, 2015 in Spokane, Washington. The June 2015 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document highlights the significant decisions made during that meeting.


Attention PFMC authorized travelers – Helpful tips to use the PFMC Concur Travel Account

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Helpful Tips to Use the PFMC Concur Travel Account

There are changes in the way expense claims are completed and submitted for reimbursement when traveling on Pacific Council business. There is also a new option for making flight (transportation) reservations. Direct (Peak) Travel is replacing services formerly provided by American Express Travel for airline reservations, which can now be made on-line.

Initial log-in and Profile set-up

Log in information:

Profile set-up:

  • Once you are logged in, you will be on a Concur web page with options. Click on the Profile icon on the upper right corner to set up your profile and follow the prompts.
  • A tutorial regarding this process can be reached by downloading and reviewing the “PFMC Concur Helpful Tips – Initial log-in and Profile set-up“.

Submitting Expense Claims

Beginning June 1, 2015, expense claims are to be submitted through the on-line Concur account. A tutorial regarding this process can be reached by downloading and reviewing the “PFMC Concur Helpful Tips – Expense Claims“.

PLEASE NOTE: Make sure you have completed your bank account information in advance of submitting a claim, it will take Concur about 2-3 business days to verify your bank information.

Booking Travel (Airfare/Rail/Hotel/Car Rental)

Our contract with American Express Travel has expired. In addition to making your own arrangements and submitting them after travel on an expense claim, you may use the Concur log-in to make travel arrangements with Direct (Peak) Travel and have them charged directly to PFMC. Your Name and TSA information must be updated prior to booking air travel. A tutorial regarding this process can be reached by downloading and viewing the “PFMC Concur Helpful Tips – Booking Travel (Airfare/Rail/Hotel/Car Rental)“.