Fishery Management Plan and Amendments: FMP: Amendment 15

Measures to Limit Participation in the Pacific Whiting Fishery

June 2008

At its September 2007 meeting, the Council took final action to limit participation in the Pacific whiting fishery under Amendment 15 to the groundfish fishery management plan (FMP). This action was intended to address conservation and socioeconomic issues in the non-tribal Pacific whiting fishery by prohibiting sector-specific participation in the fishery by all vessels without historic participation records. The Council was concerned about the conservation of overfished groundfish species and salmon stocks listed under the Endangered Species Act, and the potential for increased effort in the Pacific whiting fishery to exacerbate a race for fish and increase bycatch of these species.

Amendment 15 was an interim measure with the adopted provisions sunsetting when the trawl rationalization program was implemented under Amendment 20. Vessels that qualified for whiting fishery participation under Amendment 15 were not guaranteed future participation or inclusion in the Pacific whiting fishery under the provisions of Amendment 20.

The Council’s action prohibited sector-specific participation in the shoreside, catcher/processor, and mothership sectors of the Pacific whiting fishery in each sector for which a vessel did not have a historic participation record during the qualifying period. The Council adopted the following qualifying periods:

  • 1994 through 2006 for catcher vessels participating in the shoreside sector
  • 1997 through 2006 for catcher vessels participating in the mothership sector, vessels in the catcher/processor sector, and motherships.

“Historic participation” was defined as vessels that participated in the directed Pacific whiting fishery (as defined annually in federal regulation) in any one qualifying year.

NMFS approved Amendment 15 on June 18, 2008.

In March 2009, NMFS implemented Amendment 15 by publishing a final rule and a correction notice with updated permit deadlines.

In August 2010, NMFS approved Amendment 20, which removed the provisions inserted into the FMP by Amendment 15.

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