Groundfish: Five Year Review: Trawl Catch Share Program (Amendment 20); Intersector Allocation (Amendment 21)

Following the requirements of its groundfish fishery management plan (FMP) and the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), the Council is undertaking a review of

  • the trawl catch share program (Amendment 20 to the groundfish FMP), and
  • intersector allocations (including Amendment 21 to the groundfish FMP).

Both the catch share program and intersector allocations went into place at the start of 2011 and a program review is required five years after implementation of catch share programs.

This webpage provides information on the review of these programs, including

See our “Getting Involved” fact sheet for general information on how to engage in the Council process.

Conclusion of the Review Process

At its June 2017 meeting, the Council approved the intersector allocation review.  The final document, as approved by the Council, has been published.

At its November 2017 meeting, the Council approved the final catch share review document contained in the briefing materials for that meeting (Agenda Item F.2, Attachment 2, Attachment 3, Attachment 4, and Attachment 5).  In approving the document, the Council substituted the Section 4 (Research and Data Needs) text of Attachment 5 for the Section 4 text of Attachment 4.  For Chapter 5 (Recommendations), the Council approved a six year review cycle for the program (with the next review starting in 2022), included a recommendation that a mandatory survey of trawl QS owners be considered, and incorporated the list of follow-on actions currently under consideration.  The final review document will be posted on this webpage when final editing is completed.


Review Process

Overview of Review Calendar and Community Advisory Board

At its June 2016 meeting, the Council adopted a process for conducting the catch share review that included hearings and a Community Advisory Board (CAB).  At its September 2016 meeting, the Council accelerated that calendar.  Under the accelerated calendar, the catch share review was completed at the November 2017 Council meeting. The following is an overview of the catch share review calendar.  It also includes the intersector allocation review.  On a separate but parallel track, catch share review follow-on actions are being developed which may change the program after the review is completed.  Information on these actions will be posted on the trailing action web page.

June 23-28, 2016 Council Meeting – Tacoma, WA Council approved review process.
Aug 31-Sept 29, 2016 Public Hearings in Coastal Ports Public provided comments on experiences and concerns.
Sept 15-20, 2016 Council Meeting – Boise, ID Council provided guidance on development of plans (“blueprint”) for review document and appointment of Community Advisory Board.
Nov 2-3, 2016 Community Advisory Board (CAB) Meeting, Seattle, WA CAB developed comments for Council on the blueprint for the five year review.
Nov 16-21, 2016 Council Meeting, Garden Grove, CA Council finalized blueprint for review document.
April 6-11, 2017 Council Meeting, Sacramento, CA Council reviewed draft intersector allocation review document.
May 30-31, 2017 CAB Meeting, Portland, OR CAB developed comments on the draft catch share review document.
June 7-14, 2017 Council Meeting, Spokane, WA Council approved catch share review document for public review and finalized intersector allocation review document.
Aug 21, 2017 Public review draft of the five-year catch share program review document released See the “Public review draft”
Sept 11-18, 2017 Council Meeting, Boise, ID Council reviews draft chapters on research and data needs and recommendations based on the catch share review.  These chapters will be released after the Council meeting and incorporated into the draft for approval at the November 2017 Council meeting.
October 19, 2017 Public comment deadline on the draft of the five-year catch share program review document Comments due by 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time
Nov 14-20, 2017 Council Meeting in Costa Mesa, CA Council approves final five-year review catch share program review document, completing the review process.


Community Advisory Board

To assist in the review, the Council has appointed a Community Advisory Board (CAB) that is charged with providing the perspective of fishing communities on performance of the trawl catch share program, potential improvements, and other advice requested by the Council that may inform the program review.  For information on their meetings, see the Council’s “Upcoming Events” section of this webpage.

Shoreside Trawl, IFQ Program Participant


  • Mr. Nate Stone


  • Mr. Jeff Lackey
  • Mr. Mike Retherford


  • Mr. Chris Kubiak
  • Ms. Michelle Norvell

Shoreside Nontrawl, IFQ Program Participant (Gear Switched)

  • Ms. Michele Longo-Eder

At-sea Co-op Participants


  • Mr. Dan Waldeck

Mothership Processor

  • Mr. James Mize

Mothership Catcher Vessel

  • Mr. Kurt Cochran

Shoreside Buyers/Processors

  • Mr. Andrew Bornstein
  • Mr. Jim Caito
  • Mr. Mike Okoniewski


  • Mr. Josh Churchman
  • Mr. Paul Clampitt
  • Mr. Robert Dooley
  • Mr. Kevin Dunn
  • Mr. Shems Jud (Chair)
  • Mr. Steve Scheiblauer


Upcoming Events


The intersector allocation and catch share reviews have now been completed.  The next event will be publication of the final review document.


Past Events

Trawl Quota Program Workshop

A Pacific Coast Groundfish Quota Program Workshop was held February 16-18, 2016, in Portland Oregon. The workshop brought together working fishermen, vessel owners, processors, managers and others to discuss the current state of the trawl fishery and explore needed improvements. Workshop sponsors included the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and various interest groups. A report on this workshop was presented under the catch share program five-year review agenda item (Agenda Item G.5) at the June 2016 Council meeting.

Public Hearings

The Council conducted a series of coastal community hearings on the catch share program and intersector allocations. At the hearings, general questions were posed, such as: How have you been impacted by the trawl catch share program and the intersector allocations? What effects should the reviews of the catch share program and intersector allocation focus on? Links to the hearing summaries are provided in the following table.

Date (Start Time 7:00 PM) Hearing Location Hearing Summaries
Weds – Aug 31 San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo hearing summary
Thurs – Sept 1 Half Moon Bay Half Moon Bay hearing summary
Tues – Sept 6 Fort Bragg Fort Bragg hearing summary
Weds – Sept 7 Eureka Eureka hearing summary
Thurs – Sept 8 Coos Bay Coos Bay hearing summary
Mon – Sept 12 Westport Westport hearing summary
Tues – Sept 13 Seattle Seattle hearing summary
Weds – Sept 28 Astoria Astoria hearing summary
Thurs – Sept 29 Newport Newport hearing summary



Overview of Catch Share Program

For a general description of the trawl catch share program see the Amendment 20 webpage.  The program is fully described in Appendix D of the Amendment 20 draft EIS and the first four pages of that document (pages D-1 through D-4) provide a summary of the program as it was first implemented.  Since first implementation, there have been a series of trailing actions which have completed some elements of the program that were left outstanding, addressed problems that arose after implementation, and modified regulations that were outdated by the program.  Information on these actions is available from the trawl trailing action webpage.

The Amendment 20 program included sector specific catch share systems and individual allocations:

  • Shoreside Trawl Sector (all groundfish species, including whiting):
    • Manage with individual fishing quotas (IFQs).
    • Provide 90 percent of the initial allocation of nonwhiting IFQ to holders of vessel permits; AND set aside 10 percent of the initial allocation for an adaptive management program that may benefit processors and communities, among others.  (Note: To-date, the 10 percent set aside for adaptive management has been passed through to IFQ owners)
    • Provide 80 percent of the initial allocation of whiting IFQ to holders of vessel permits; AND provide 20 percent of the initial allocation of whiting to processors.
  • Mothership Trawl Sector (whiting and groundfish bycatch species):
    • Manage with a harvester co-op system and limited entry for mothership processors.
    • Assign catch history to catcher vessel permits and allocate to co-ops based on the catch history of the permits that join the co-op.
    • Require that vessels declare preseason the mothership processor for which they will fish in a coming year.
  • Catcher Processor (CP) Sector (whiting and groundfish bycatch species):
    • Create a permit endorsement to prevent expansion of the number of participants.
    • Allocate whiting and bycatch to the existing voluntary co-op.
    • Provide an IFQ program if the voluntary co-op fails (initially allocate IFQ equally among all permit holders).

IFQ for the shoreside fishery may not be delivered to at-sea processors, nor may quota allocated to the mothership or catcher-processor sectors be delivered shoreside.  The amount of allocation available for these sectors is determined through the intersector allocation process.


Overview of Intersector Allocations

The Council will be reviewing the intersector allocations contained in its groundfish FMP.  These include allocations established through Amendment 21 to the FMP, allocations of sablefish and whiting, and allocations established through Amendment 6 to the FMP.

Amendment 21 concerned formal, long term allocations of a select subset of federally-managed west coast groundfish species to the limited entry trawl sectors. The long term allocations of Amendment 21 reduced the need for trawl/nontrawl allocation action in each biennial specifications process. Trawl/nontrawl allocations were needed to support the Amendment 20 trawl rationalization program and establish for the trawl sector the sector responsibility for bycatch.  The Amendment 21 trawl/nontrawl allocations did not change formal allocations that were already in place for sablefish and Pacific whiting.  Amendment 6 established allocations between the limited entry and open access sectors of the commercial groundfish fishery.  Other than the allocations of sablefish, these allocations have not been used for many years due to constraints caused by overfished species.  Additionally, trawl/nontrawl allocations for some species continue to be set through the biennial specifications process.  For more detail on this amendment, see the Amendment 21 webpage.


Background Documents and Public Hearing Materials

NMFS Catch Share Review Policy Directives

NMFS Allocation Policy Directives

Fishing Community Hearings on Catch Share Review and Intersector Allocation

Hearing Handouts

Hearing Summaries

Hearing Summaries are available in the “public hearings table” on this webpage.

Other Background Materials


Review Documents

See “Conclusion of the Review Process” (above) for a description of the modifications made to the public review draft of the catch share review document prior to final approval.  The final document will be posted to this webpage when all edits are completed.


Contact Information