Fact Sheet: Fishery Ecosystem Plan

The purpose of the Council’s Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) is to enhance species-specific management with more ecosystem science, broader ecosystem considerations, and policies that coordinate management across the Council’s fishery management plans and the California Current Ecosystem (the California Current affects the entire West Coast). The FEP helps the Council consider policy choices and tradeoffs […]

Fact Sheet: National Environmental Policy Act

NEPA, or the National Environmental Policy Act, was enacted in 1970. NEPA is a major environmental law which applies whenever Federal funds (your tax dollars) are used on a proposed project, such as removing a dam. Conservation and management of a renewable resource (for example, managing a fishery) must also abide by NEPA rules. NEPA […]

Fact sheet: Halibut

The fish Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) are large flatfish found on the continental shelf from California to the Bering Sea. Halibut have flat, diamond-shaped bodies, can weigh up to 500 pounds, and can grow to eight feet long. The oldest halibut on record, both male and female, is 55 years old.  The stock status of […]

Fact Sheet: Coastal pelagic species

The fish Coastal pelagic species (CPS) are schooling fish that range from the shore to the open ocean. They are found near the surface or as deep as 1,000 meters. They are generally small, even as adults, ranging from about four inches (anchovies) to 24 inches (Pacific mackerel). CPS are sold for human consumption, bait […]

Fact Sheet: Highly migratory species

“Highly migratory species” (HMS) include tuna, some shark species, and billfish—species that range widely through the ocean, often crossing international borders. These pelagic species live in the water of the open ocean, although they may spend part of their life cycle in nearshore waters. HMS are harvested by U.S. commercial and recreational fishers and by […]

Fact Sheet: Common terms used in salmon management

Acceptable biological catch (ABC). A scientific calculation of the sustainable harvest level of a fishery, used to set the upper limit of the annual total allowable catch. Accountability measure (AM). A management control (such as a harvest limit) designed to prevent annual catch limits from being exceeded. Anadromous. Fish that spend their adult life in […]

Fact Sheet: Salmon

Salmon species The Council manages Chinook and coho salmon. In odd-numbered years, the Council may manage pink salmon near the Canadian border. Sockeye, chum, and steelhead are rarely caught in the Council’s ocean fisheries. Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) (“king” or “tyee”) are the largest and most highly prized of the Pacific salmon. Like all salmon, […]

Fact Sheet: Electronic monitoring

At-sea monitoring of all fishing trips (100% monitoring) is required as part of the Council’s groundfish trawl catch share program in order to account for discards. Currently, this monitoring is conducted by human observers. From 2012 to 2018, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) studied the use of electronic monitoring (EM) to examine its potential […]

Fact Sheet: How to get involved

Why get involved? Many different types of people are concerned about fisheries, including commercial fishermen, fishing families, recreational fishers, processors and suppliers, environmentalists, tribal members, chefs, diners, scientists, the tourism industry, and local communities. Whatever their background or motivations, these groups share the common desire to ensure the health of fish populations and the marine […]

Fact Sheet: Trawl catch shares

The Council has created two catch share programs in the limited entry nontribal commercial groundfish fishery: a fixed gear sablefish program implemented in 2002, and a trawl catch share program implemented in 2011.  This fact sheet focuses on the trawl catch share program. The trawl fishery makes up a large proportion of the groundfish fishery, […]