Fishery Management Plan and Amendments: FMP: Amendment 25

Amendment 25: Unfished and Unmanaged Forage Fish Protections

In September 2015, the Council approved new protections for forage fish species that are currently unfished and unmanaged. The purpose of the action is to prohibit new directed commercial fishing in Federal waters on unmanaged, unfished forage fish species until the Council has had an adequate opportunity to both assess the scientific information relating to any proposed directed fishery and consider potential impacts to existing fisheries, fishing communities, and the greater marine ecosystem. This was taken in recognition of the importance of these forage fish to the species managed under the Council’s FMPs and to the larger California Current Ecosystem. The suite of species will be added to each FMP as Ecosystem Component species.

The Council deemed regulations that define directed commercial fishing, establish incidental landing limits of 10 mt per trip and 30 mt per year, and place restrictions on at-sea processing. Additionally, the Council approved Council Operating Procedure 24, a Protocol for Consideration of Exempted Fishing Permits for Shared Ecosystem Component Species, including the suggested edits of the Ecosystem Workgroup.