Highly Migratory Species: Exempted Fishing Permit Applications

Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) Application Process

By means of EFPs National Marine Fisheries Service “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 Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) reviews applications for EFPs and makes recommendations on their issuance based on the schedule described in  Council Operating Procedure 20 (COP 20). According to COP 20 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.

Note: The Council was accepting applications to test deep-set buoy gear at every meeting between June 2016 and March 2018 but has stopped doing that and reverted to the annual, June-September review process.

The next opportunity to submit an EFP application will be for the June 2019 Council meeting.

Applications may be submitted by mail, FedEx or other overnight service, or email but must be received by the applicable advanced briefing book deadline.

Mailing address:

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

Put “HMS EFP application” in the subject line

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


Application Currently Under Review

For the June 2018 Council meeting Dr. John Hall submitted an EFP application to test deep-set pelagic longline gear in the West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The HMS FMP currently prohibits fishing with pelagic longline gear is  in the West Coast EEZ. Public comments are being accepted on this proposal in advance of the September 2018 Council meeting when the Council will make a final recommendation.