Who We Are and What We Do

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976.

With jurisdiction over the 317,690 square mile exclusive economic zone off Washington, Oregon and California, the Council manages fisheries for about 119 species of salmon, groundfish, coastal pelagic species (sardines, anchovies, and mackerel), and highly migratory species (tunas, sharks, and swordfish). The Council is also active in international fishery management organizations that manage fish stocks that migrate through the Council’s area of jurisdiction, including the International Pacific Halibut Commission (for Pacific halibut), the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (for albacore tuna and other highly migratory species), and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (for yellowfin tuna and other high migratory species).

The Council process is a bottom-up process, emphasizing public participation and involvement in fisheries management. Public input is encouraged and appreciated. Management measures developed by the Council are recommended to the Secretary of Commerce through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Management measures are implemented by NMFS West Coast Regional offices and enforced by the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, the 11th and 13th Coast Guard Districts, and local enforcement agencies.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is made up of 14 voting representatives from Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho; many advisory bodies; and 16 staff members located in Portland, Oregon. Some Council members represent state or tribal fish and wildlife agencies, and some are private citizens who are knowledgeable about recreational or commercial fishing or marine conservation. Apart from state and tribal representatives, Council members are chosen by the governors of the four states within the Council region, in conjunction with the Secretary of Commerce.