Highly Migratory Species Exempted Fishing Permit applications for 2023

Application process

By means of exempted fishing permits (EFPs) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) “may authorize, for limited testing, public display, data collection, exploratory fishing, compensation fishing, conservation engineering, health and safety surveys, environmental cleanup, and/or hazard removal purposes, the target or incidental harvest of species managed under an FMP or fishery regulations that would otherwise be prohibited” (50 CFR 600.745(b)).

The Council accepts EFP applications each year at its June meeting for initial review and public comment. The Council may ask for revisions to the application or further clarification about the proposed activity. The Council then makes a final recommendation to NMFS on EFP issuance at its September meeting.

For consideration in 2023, applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. PDT, Wednesday, May 24, 2023. See mailing address/fax number/email at the bottom of this page.

Deep-set buoy gear is expected to become legal gear in Federal regulations in 2023 to fish in Federal waters off of California and Oregon. Once a legal gear, an EFP will not be necessary so the Council will no longer entertain applications for this gear in the configurations described in the regulations. Note that a limited entry permit will be required to use DSBG in the Southern California Bight. Once the regulations are in place NMFS will begin the process to solicit applications and issue these limited entry permits. To learn more about the regulatory rollout, visit the information page on the NMFS website.

Application contents

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with members of the Council’s Highly Migratory Management Team (HMSMT), Council staff, or National Marine Fishery Service staff when preparing an application. See the Council roster for HMSMT member contact information. Dr. Kit Dahl is the point of contact for Council staff; phone: (503) 820-2422 (toll-free 1-866-806-7204). Chris Fanning is the point of contact at the NMFS West Coast Region, phone: (562) 980-4198.

To apply for an EFP, you must submit a detailed proposal for Council review that includes the following information:

  1. Date of application
  2. Applicant’s names, mailing addresses, and telephone numbers
  3. A statement of the purpose and goals of the experiment for which an EFP is needed, including a general description of the arrangements for the disposition of all species harvested under the EFP
  4. Justification explaining why issuance of an EFP is warranted
  5. A statement of whether the proposed experimental fishing has broader significance than the applicant’s individual goals
  6. An expected total duration of the EFP (i.e., number of years proposed to conduct exempted fishing activities)
  7. Number of vessels covered under the EFP
  8. A description of the species (target and incidental) to be harvested under the EFP and the amount(s) of such harvest necessary to conduct the experiment, including harvest estimates of overfished species and protected species
  9. A description of a mechanism, such as at-sea fishery monitoring, to ensure that the harvest limits for targeted and incidental species are not exceeded and are accurately accounted for
  10. A description of the proposed data collection and analysis methodology
  11. A description of how vessels will be chosen to participate in the EFP
  12. For each vessel covered by the EFP, the approximate time(s) and place(s) fishing will take place, and the type, size, and amount of gear to be used
  13. The signature of the applicant(s)

EFP proposals must contain sufficient information for the Council to determine if there is adequate justification for an exemption to the regulations and the potential social and environmental impacts of the exempted activity.

The content of applications and review process is spelled out in Council Operating Procedure 20 (COP 20).

Your application must be received by the deadline at address/fax/email below.


Mailing address:

Pacific Fishery Management Council
Attn: HMS EFP Application
7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101
Portland, OR 97220

Fax: 503-820-2299