Council and Advisory Bodies: Groundfish Advisory Subpanel

Mr. John Holloway is the Chair of the Groundfish Advisory Subpanel (GAP) and Ms. Susan Chambers is the Vice-Chair. See the current GAP roster.

Advisory subpanels like the GAP are established by the Council for each fishery management plan. The subpanels consist of people representing groups or interests concerned with management of their respective fishery, and who have expertise related to the fishery. The general purpose of the advisory subpanels is to advise the Council on fishery management problems, planning efforts, and the content and effects of fishery management plans, amendments, and regulations.

The GAP includes three fixed gear (at-large) commercial fishers, one conservation representative, two processors, one at-sea processor, three sport fishers, two open access fishers, three trawlers, four charter boat operators (one each for Washington and Oregon, and two for California), and one tribal fisher.

Recent GAP Statements

April 2019

March 2019

November 2018

September 2018

June 2018

April 2018

March 2018

November 2017

June 2017

April 2017

March 2017

November 2016

September 2016

June 2016

April 2016


March 2016

November 2015


September 2015

June 2015

April 2015

March 2015

November 2014

Summary from The Line: Widow Rockfish Reallocation: Because widow rockfish are no longer overfished, the Council is considering reallocating the shoreside quota shares for widow rockfish among initial quota share recipients. A range of alternatives has been adopted for analysis, and final action is scheduled for the April Council meeting. Divestiture and forfeited quota shares: Individuals with quota shores in excess of control limits are required to divest their excess by November 30, 2015. The Council is considering delaying that deadline and modifying the rules for quota share forfeiture for those who do not comply with this provision. Blackgill Rockfish Reallocation: The Council is considering a restructuring of the Slope Rockfish complex south of 40°10’N. latitude by removing blackgill rockfish from the southern Slope Rockfish complex and reallocating both blackgill rockfish and the remaining species in the complex to trawl and non-trawl sectors. The Council plans to adopt a preliminary preferred alternative in April 2015 and to make a final decision in June 2015. Other groundfish management activities: The Council revised the 2015 and 2016 overfishing limits, acceptable biological catches, and annual catch limits for English sole, yellowtail rockfish north of 40 degrees 10’ N. latitude, sharpchin rockfish, and rex sole, as well as the harvest specifications for the Slope Rockfish complexes and the Other Flatfish complex. Open access registration: There will not be a registry of open access groundfish fishermen, as originally planned under Amendment 22. The Council believes the costs of creating a registry outweigh the benefits. Inseason adjustments: Due to higher-than-expected catches of black rockfish and California scorpionfish in the California recreational fishery in 2014, a five-fish black rockfish sub-bag limit within the ten-fish rockfish, cabezon and greenling bag limit will be put in place in 2015-2016. Additionally, retention of California scorpionfish in the California recreational fisheries will be prohibited from September through December 2015-2016.

November Groundfish Advisory Subpanel (GAP) Agenda

September 2014

Summary from The Line:

The Council is reviewing various management tasks associated with groundfish fisheries and adopted the action plan described at, except for intersector allocation of blackgill rockfish, which will be discussed in November. In November, the Council will also reconsider a registry for open access fishery participants; and consider alternatives for widow rockfish quota share reallocation and related divestiture issues. In 2015 the Council will look at removing the requirement to use selective flatfish trawl gear shoreward of the Rockfish Conservation Area and allowing a year-round midwater nonwhiting fishery. The Council will also consider rules for a midwater recreational sport fishery for Oregon and California; changes to management area restrictions; and various issues related to tracking vessel movements near restricted fishing areas. Electronic Monitoring. The Council selected final preferred alternatives for electronic monitoring for the whiting midwater trawl, non-whiting midwater trawl, fixed gear, and bottom trawl fisheries. A full description is online at The Council wants to have electronic monitoring regulations in place for the whiting fishery by the 2016 season. Similar regulations for the fixed gear, bottom trawl, and non-whiting midwater trawl sectors will not be in place until 2017, at the earliest. Halibut. The Council adopted seven allocation options meant to provide more fish to the California recreational fishery. The action came in response to new information showing that more halibut were available, and that was more interest in fishing halibut off California, than previously thought. In addition, changes to recreational fishery rules for the entire West Coast were adopted for public review and are online at Final Council action is scheduled for November.

September GAP Agenda

June 2014

Summary from The Line:

Inseason adjustments. For the limited entry fixed gear sablefish fishery north of 36° N. latitude, trip limits were increased to one landing per week of up to 1,000 lb., not to exceed 3,000 lb. per two months. For the open access fixed gear sablefish fishery north of 36° N Latitude, trip limits were increased to 350 lb. per day, or one landing per week of up to 1,600 lb., not to exceed 3,200 lb. per two months. Exempted fishing permits. The Council approved five exempted fishing permit proposals: one proposal to test a vertical hook-and-line gear configuration within the non-trawl Rockfish Conservation Area in waters off central and northern California to selectively target yellowtail and chilipepper rockfish, and four proposals to test electronic monitoring in the groundfish trawl shorebased IFQ fishery. Sablefish. Electronic fish tickets will soon be required for all limited entry and open access landings that include sablefish (limited entry permit numbers will be included on the electronic fish tickets). The rules limiting the number of limited entry fixed gear sablefish permits a person controls will be slightly liberalized. Omnibus. The Council began a process to determine the new management measures it will consider in the coming year(s) and adopted a list that includes 42 new candidate issues (see for prioritization at its September meeting. It is likely that the Council will be able to take up only a few of the issues.

June GAP Agenda

April 2014

Summary from The Line:

In April, the Council adopted final 2015 and 2016 overfishing limits, acceptable biological catches, and annual catch limits (ACLs) for groundfish. Notable changes to ACLs for 2015 and 2016 included 50,000 metric tons (mt) for Dover sole, 2,000 mt for widow rockfish, and 2,101 mt for spiny dogfish in 2015 and 2,085 mt in 2016. (Spiny dogfish will be managed outside of a complex using these stock-specific ACLs). The ACL for cowcod south of 40º10’ N. lat. (which is overfished) is 10 mt.  Pacific whiting. The Council adopted a yield set-aside of 1,500 mt of Pacific whiting to accommodate 2014 research activities and incidental bycatch in the pink shrimp fishery. Electronic monitoring. A Groundfish Electronic Monitoring meeting was scheduled for May 7-8 in Seattle, Washington to further refine options for each fleet sector. Rockfish barotrauma. The Council adopted new, lower depth-based mortality rates for cowcod, canary rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish that are discarded in recreational fisheries using descending devices to mitigate barotrauma. This will reduce discard mortality in the recreational fishery. Inseason adjustments. The Council recommended that NMFS issue the maximum surplus carryover (up to 10 percent) for all non-whiting species in the shorebased individual fishing quota trawl groundfish fishery. Halibut. Incidental halibut landings for the 2014-2015 salmon troll fishery are limited to no more than one Pacific halibut per each four Chinook, except one halibut may be landed without meeting the ratio requirement, and no more than 12 halibut landed per trip. These limits are in effect through December 31, 2014 and April 1-30, 2015. The Council also adopted halibut landing restrictions for the primary fixed gear sablefish fishery north of Pt. Chehalis, Washington from April 1, 2014 to October 31, 2014 (

April GAP Agenda

March 2014

(March 2014 summary is folded into April)

March GAP Agenda