Fact Sheet: Advisory bodies

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s advisory bodies (including technical and management teams, advisory subpanels, committees, and work groups) prepare and review information and provide input to help the Council make decisions.

All advisory body meetings are open to the public, but the advisory subpanels offer the best opportunity for public involvement in the process.

Scientific and Statistical Committee

All scientific information used by the Council to make decisions must go through the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), a group of scientists from state and Federal agencies, academic institutions, and other sources. Among other things, the SSC reviews fishery management plans (FMPs), plan amendments, and other documents; and helps the Council evaluate scientific information. The SSC has subcommittees that focus on salmon, groundfish, highly migratory species, coastal pelagic species, ecosystem management, and economics.

Advisory subpanels

Advisory subpanels represent the commercial and recreational fishing industry, tribes, the public, and conservation interests. They advise the Council on fishery management issues (such as annual management measures, FMPs, and amendments) and provide input into fishery management planning.

The Council has five advisory subpanels—one for each management plan:

Groundfish Advisory Subpanel (GAP). This panel includes three fixed gear (at-large) commercial fishers, one conservation representative, two processors, one at-sea processor, three sport anglers, two open access fishers, one bottom trawler, one midwater trawler, two
at-large trawlers, one tribal representative, and four charter boat operators (one each for Oregon, Washington, northern California, and southern California).

Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Subpanel (CPSAS). This subpanel includes three California commercial fishers, one Oregon commercial fisher, one Washington commercial fisher, three processors (one from each state), one California charter or sport fisher, and one conservation representative.

Highly Migratory Species Advisory Subpanel (HMSAS). This subpanel includes one member each from the commercial troll, purse seine, gillnet, and private recreational fisheries; two from the charter fisheries (one north, one south of Point Conception); two commercial at-large members; two processors (one northern, one south of Cape Mendocino); one conservation representative; one general at-large member; and one public at-large member.

Salmon Advisory Subpanel (SAS). Currently, this group comprises one tribal representative from California, one tribal fisher from the Washington coast, one gillnetter, three charter boat operators and three trollers (one from each state), five sport fishers (one each from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, and two from California), one processor, and one conservation representative.

Ecosystem Advisory Subpanel (EAS). This subpanel consists of three representatives each from California, Oregon, and Washington, and one tribal representative.

Enforcement Consultants

Enforcement Consultants are representatives from state police agencies, state fish and wildlife agencies, NMFS Office of Law Enforcement divisions, and the Coast Guard. They provide advice to the Council about whether proposed management actions are enforceable and how they affect safety at sea. There are six enforcement consultants who serve indefinite terms.

Habitat Committee

The Habitat Committee (HC) works with other teams and panels on habitat issues that affect Council fisheries. The group helps develop ways to resolve habitat problems and avoid future habitat conflicts, and it makes recommendations for actions that will help achieve the Council’s habitat objectives. The HC includes members from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, National Marine Sanctuary, NMFS region, NMFS science center, conservation, states, tribes, and fishing industry, as well as at-large members.

Groundfish Allocation Committee

The Groundfish Allocation Committee (GAC) is charged with developing options for allocating certain groundfish species among the commercial and recreational sectors and among gear groups within the commercial sector. The purpose of the GAC is to distribute the harvestable surplus among competing interests in a way that resolves allocation issues on a short- or long-term basis. The GAC is made up of Council members, plus seven non-voting members who represent the non-whiting trawl, whiting trawl, fixed gear, open access, and recreational sectors; conservation groups; and processors.

Plan development, technical, and management teams

Plan development, technical, and management teams are working groups of state, Federal, and tribal biologists and economists.

Technical and Management Teams monitor fisheries and prepare stock assessments and fishery impact analyses. They may monitor catch rates and management impacts, analyze or recommend harvest limits, develop rebuilding plans, or conduct other tasks assigned by the Council. Currently, the Council has a Salmon Technical Team, Groundfish Management Team, Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team, Highly Migratory Species Management Team, Salmon Model Evaluation Workgroup, and Groundfish Endangered Species Workgroup.

Plan Development Teams focus on the development of fishery management plans. Currently there are no Plan Development Teams in operation.

Standing committees

Standing committees are made up of current Council members. The Budget Committee generally meets three times a year to review the Council’s budget and grant proposals, and the Legislative Committee monitors Federal legislation on Council operations and West Coast fisheries and develops a position and course of action for Council consideration.

Ad hoc committees

Ad-hoc committees are created to serve special needs—for example the Trawl Catch Share Community Advisory Board, Groundfish Cost Recovery Committee, Groundfish Electronic Monitoring Policy Advisory Committee, and Groundfish Electronic Monitoring Technical Advisory Committee.

For more information on the membership of the Council’s advisory bodies, contact the Council at the phone number on the first page of this information sheet or see the Council website at www.pcouncil.org.

Appointments and reviews

The Council continuously considers appointments to fill vacancies and adjust to personnel changes. All advisory Subpanel positions, the SSC at-large positions, and the HC tribal, industry, conservation, and at-large positions are limited to three-year terms.  Every third year, the Council reviews the composition and membership of all term-limited Advisory Body positions and appoints members for the subsequent three-year term.