HMS FMP Amendment 6: Authorization of a deep-set buoy gear fishery

Action status

  • Implemented
  • Undergoing NMFS Review
  • Approved by Council
  • Under development by the Council

The Council began scoping the authorization deep-set buoy gear (DSBG) to target swordfish in March 2016. It adopted a range of alternatives, including a preliminary preferred alternative in November 2018 and took final action to identify its preferred alternative in September 2019. During review of the Council final action NMFS identified several elements of the Council proposal needing clarification; the Council responded at its March 2021 meeting. The Council proposal includes the following elements:

  • Gear definition
  • Gear use (tending, deployment and retrieval, simultaneous use of other gear types)
  • Permitting including a limited entry permit program for the area east of 120° 28’ 18” W. Longitude (the Southern California Bight)
  • Authorized area and season (Federal waters off California and Oregon throughout the year)
  • Fishery monitoring (existing FMP requirements for observers and logbooks)

The Council transmitted the FMP amendment to NMFS on December 21, 2022.

Transmittal letter (December 2022)

  • Attachment 1: Fishery Management Plan for West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species Proposed Amendment 6
  • Attachment 2: Proposed regulations (link provided when published in the Federal Register)
  • Attachment 3: Highly Migratory Species Management Team Report on Deep-Set Buoy Gear Authorization Final Preferred Alternative Magnuson-Stevens Act Section 303(B)(6) Evaluation

Notice of Availability for public comment on Amendment 6 (88 FR 1171) (January 9, 2023)

Proposed regulations were published on February 6, 2023 (88 FR 7661). Comments on the proposed rule and supporting documents must be submitted in writing by March 8, 2023. See the Federal Register notice for details. Information on the action is also available on the NOAA Fisheries website.

Final Environmental Impact Statement (February 21, 2023)

March 31, 2023, letter from NMFS West Coast Regional Administrator Scott M. Rumsey, Ph.D. approving Amendment 6.

The final rule was published on May 9, 2023 (88 FR 29545). The effective date of the regulations is June 7, 2023. A FAQs page is available on the NMFS West Coast Region website.