Date: April 8, 2005
Federal Register summary: “The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) is considering implementing management measures for the spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) fishery off Washington, Oregon and California. This document announces a control date of April 8, 2005, for the spiny dogfish fishery. The control date for the spiny dogfish fishery is intended to discourage increased fishing effort in the limited entry and open access groundfish fisheries targeting spiny dogfish based on economic speculation while the Pacific Council develops and considers management measures for the spiny dogfish fishery.” 70 FR 29713, May 24, 2005
Who affected: The open access portion of the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery
Why: Recent interest in the spiny dogfish fishery and concern over the status of the stock has led the Pacific Council to consider management measures for the spiny dogfish fishery. There is also concern that vessels entering the open access fishery to target spiny dogfish will have high bycatch rates of overfished species such as canary and yelloweye rockfish.
Little is known about the status of spiny dogfish on the West Coast, except that like other shark species, they are slow growing, late to mature, and have a low fecundity, making them susceptible to becoming overfished. An assessment is planned for the 2007 assessment cycle.
The control date for the spiny dogfish fishery is intended to discourage increased fishing effort in the limited entry and open access groundfish fisheries targeting spiny dogfish based on economic speculation while the Pacific Council develops and considers management measures for the spiny dogfish fishery.
What is a control date?
Control dates are published as an “advanced notice of proposed rulemaking” in the Federal Register.
When the Council begins considering a new limited entry program or the revision of an existing program, it often announces a control date. A control date tells the public that the Council may recommend that activities occurring after that date not count toward qualification for the limited entry program (or modification) being considered. Fishers are not guaranteed future participation, regardless of their date of activity or level of participation in the fishery. Interested parties are urged to contact the Pacific Council office to stay informed of the development of any planned regulations.
Announcement of a control date does not commit the Pacific Council to developing any particular management regime or to use any specific criteria for determining participation in a fishery. The Pacific Council may choose a different control date or a management program that does not make use of such a date. The Pacific Council may also choose to take no further action to modify or control entry or access to the fishery.
Any action by the Pacific Council will be taken pursuant to the requirement for FMP development established under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, may require amendment of the regulations implementing the related FMP, and possibly require amendment of the FMP itself. Such action will entail a proposal for an FMP regulatory amendment with public input and a supporting analysis, NMFS approval, and appropriate rulemaking procedures. These advance notices of proposed rulemakings have been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.