Highly migratory species blog

NMFS Publishes Proposed “List of Fisheries for 2015″

Monday, August 25th, 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its proposed List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2015, 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 25, 2014 to view the proposed rule, and for instructions on how to comment. Comments on the proposed rule must be received by September 24, 2014.

NOAA requests comments on a proposal to update the Federal list of fisheries for West Coast states

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

NOAA Fisheries proposes to update the Federal list of authorized fisheries and gear issued under section 305(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (“List of Fisheries”). The List of Fisheries includes a description of fisheries that operate in the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone, the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s geographic area of authority. This action is necessary because the current list is outdated and either includes several fisheries that no longer occur, or does not include fisheries that do occur, within the U.S. West Coast EEZ. The intended effect of this rule is to bring the list up to date with current West Coast fisheries and fishery management plans.

Please see the Federal Register notice dated August 7, 2014 to read the proposed rule and instructions on how to comment. Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before September 8, 2014.

For further information, please contact:
Ms. Yvonne deReynier, 206-526-6129; (fax) 206-526-6736;
Mr. Joshua Lindsay, 562-980-4034; 562-980-4047

Reminder notice and agenda available for the HMSMT August 12-14, 2014 meeting

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

This is a reminder notice that the Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) will be meeting August 12-14, 2014 in the La Jolla, California area. An agenda is now available for that three-day meeting. (more…)

NMFS Public Notice: Notice of Swordfish Drift Gillnet Directed Fishing Closure

Friday, July 25th, 2014

This notice announces that, through rulemaking in the Federal Register, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is closing the Pacific Loggerhead Conservation Area, prohibiting fishing with large-mesh drift gillnet (DGN) gear (>14 inches mesh) off the coast of southern California east of 120º west meridian through August 31, 2014.

For information, please contact: Mr. Craig Heberer, NOAA Fisheries, (760) 431-9400, ext. 303.

Reminder notice and agenda available for the HMSMT July 29, 2014 webinar

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

This is a reminder notice that the Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) will be holding a webinar on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. An agenda is now available for that webinar. (more…)

NMFS announces the receipt of a rulemaking petition to prohibit Pacific Bluefin Tuna fishing and requests comments

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the receipt of, and requests public comment on a petition for rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act. The Center for Biological Diversity, a non-governmental organization, has petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce to promulgate regulations to prohibit fishing for Pacific bluefin tuna and to identify specific reference points used to determine if overfishing is occurring or if the stock is overfished.  See the Federal Register notice dated July 24, 2014 for complete details on the petition and how to comment. Comments will be accepted through September 22, 2014.

If you have additional questions, please contact Mr. Mark Helvey, NMFS West Coast Region, Phone:  562-980-4040; email:  Mark.Helvey@noaa.gov; mailing address:  501 W. Ocean Blvd., Ste. 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802.

Request for nominations to the Highly Migratory Species Advisory Subpanel and the Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Subpanel

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) is requesting nominations of qualified candidates to fill a vacant processor (south of Cape Mendocino) seat on its Highly Migratory Species Advisory Subpanel (HMSAS) as well as a vacancy to the California sport/charter seat on its Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Subpanel (CPSAS). Both positions are for the remainder of the 2013-2015 advisory body term. To ensure consideration, nominations should be received at the Council office no later than Friday, August 15, 2014.

Please visit the Council’s “Current Advisory Body Vacancies” webpage to get the full vacancy announcements and instructions on how to submit nominations.

Highly Migratory Species Management Team to Meet

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) will hold a meeting Tuesday, August 12 to Thursday, August 14, 2014, which is open to the public.

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Locations

This meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. and continue until business is concluded on each day.  The meeting will be held at three locations as follows:

Tuesday, August 12

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

Wednesday, August 13

T-29 Martin Johnson House
Scripps Institute of Oceanography
8840 Biological Grade
La Jolla, CA 92037
Driving Directions

Thursday, August 14

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

Meeting purpose

The HMSMT will discuss the development of alternatives and analyses for issues to be addressed as part of the HMS biennial harvest specifications and management measures process.  The Council identified six topics to potentially address through the biennial process (see the June 2014 Decision Summary Document for a complete list).  The Council assigned highest priority to reducing recreational catch of Pacific bluefin tuna and identifying take caps (“hard caps”) for selected protected species (marine mammals and sea turtles) for the California drift gillnet fishery.  The HMSMT will also discuss the exempted fishing permit (EFP) review process, which is scheduled for the September and November Council meetings. EFP proposals have been solicited with a deadline of August 15.  Finally, the HMSMT will discuss completion of the 2014 HMS Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) document.  The HMSMT will report on their work at the September 12-17, 2014 Council meeting in Spokane, Washington.

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 503-820-2280, 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.

Solicitation Notice for EFPs for Swordfish and other highly migratory species

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

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. Download the full solicitation letter that describes the purpose, process, and evaluation critieria.

The Council announces a deadline of 11:59 p.m., Pacific Time, August 17, 2014, to submit EFP proposals to the Council office, addressed as follows:

By mail:
Dr. Donald O. McIsaac, Executive Director
Attn: HMS EFP Proposal
Pacific Fishery Management Council
7700 NE Ambassador Pl. Suite, 101
Portland, OR 97220

By fax: 503-820-2299

By email: pfmc.comments@noaa.gov or Kit.Dahl@noaa.gov

On envelope, fax cover sheet, or email subject line, please enter “Attn: HMS EFP Proposal.” In the event an EFP proposal does not meet the above deadline, it does not necessarily mean the Council will not consider the proposal; however, lack of inclusion in the advance Briefing Book for the September Council meeting may mean no advisory review and dramatically reduced chance of the Council advancing the proposal to the next step.

Should you have any questions on this matter, please contact Dr. Kit Dahl at Kit.Dahl@noaa.gov or telephone: 503-820-2422.

Highly Migratory Species Management Team to Hold Webinar

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) will hold a webinar on Tuesday, July 29, which is open to the public.  This webinar will be held from 9:00 a.m. to noon Pacific Time, or when business for the day is complete. The HMSMT will discuss the development of alternatives and analyses for issues to be addressed as part of the HMS biennial harvest specifications and management measures process.  Of the issues identified at the June Council meeting, the Council assigned highest priority to reducing recreational catch of Pacific bluefin tuna and identifying take caps (“hard caps”) for selected protected species (marine mammals and sea turtles) for the California drift gillnet fishery.  The HMSMT may also discuss exempted fishing permit review and monitoring requirements for proposed management measures.  The HMSMT will report on their work at the September 12-17, 2014, Council meeting in Spokane, Washington.

Webinar Agenda

To Attend the Webinar

  1. Join the meeting by visiting this link:
    http://www.joinwebinar.com
  2. Enter the Webinar ID: 493-503-175
  3. Please enter your name and email address (required)

Once you have joined the webinar, choose either your computer’s audio or select “Use Telephone.” If you do not select “Use Telephone” you will be connected to audio using your computer’s microphone and speakers (VolP). It is recommended that you use a computer headset as GoToMeeting allows you to listen to the meeting using your computer headset and speakers.

If you do not have a headset and speakers, you may use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number 1-480-297-0021 (not a toll-free number); phone audio access code 861-856-225; audio phone pin shown after joining the webinar.

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
503-820-2280
Driving Directions

Additional information

Public comments during the webinar will be received from attendees at the discretion of the HMSMT chair.

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 503-820-2425 at least five days prior to the meeting date.  If you have additional questions regarding the webinar, please contact Dr. Kit Dahl at 503-820-2422; toll-free 1-866-806-7204.