Fact Sheet: Exempted fishing permits

Exempted fishing permits (EFPs) allow for fishing activities that are exempt from the usual fishing regulations. They are a way for people and organizations involved in the fishery to experiment with new gears or techniques. The Council recommends EFPs to National Marine Fisheries Service, which is responsible for granting them. Examples of past projects supported […]

Fact sheet: Habitat and essential fish habitat

Habitat is the environment where an animal lives, feeds, reproduces, and grows. Many fish move through different habitats during their lives. For example, a fish might spawn in the surf zone, but live as an adult in open water; or might move seasonally into different depths or substrates. Fish move into different habitats for feeding, […]

Fact Sheet: Annual catch limits and other management thresholds

The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires annual catch limits and other management thresholds for all actively managed stocks and stock complexes. The terms and reference points used in the Pacific Council’s harvest management frameworks are described below.  Common acronyms MSY      Maximum sustainable yield. A long-term average yield usually estimated in a stock assessment. OY         Optimum yield. Long-term […]

Fact Sheet: Overfishing and rebuilding

Currently the Council is rebuilding one groundfish stock: yelloweye rockfish. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Management and Conservation Act, or MSA (the primary legislation that governs fishery management) requires that every Council end overfishing and rebuild overfished stocks. Therefore, if a Council-managed species is overfished or is being overfished, the Council must reduce catches to a level […]

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: Marine Reserves

Marine Protected Areas Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are broadly defined as ocean, estuarine, or (in some cases) freshwater areas that have been designated to provide protections for natural or cultural resources. In the fisheries world, this typically means an MPA is designed to protected important habitat features, or to provide a refuge for marine species. […]

Fact Sheet: Groundfish

The fish The Council’s Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) includes over 100 different species that, with a few exceptions, live on or near the bottom of the ocean. The FMP covers the following species: The fishery and gear Many different types of gear are used to target the wide variety of groundfish managed […]

Fact Sheet: The Magnuson-Stevens Act

The Magnuson‐Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) is the principal law governing marine fisheries in the United States. Before the MSA, U.S. fisheries were managed by an array of state regulations that focused mainly on fishing gear restrictions. The MSA was adopted in 1976 under the Carter administration. It is named after the late […]

Fact Sheet: Council Meetings 101

Council meetings are the heart of the Federal fisheries management process. They are where ideas develop into management decisions, and where recommendations are forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). However, Council meetings can be confusing to people who are new to the process or who only attend Council meetings occasionally. Background The Pacific […]