Fishery Management Plan and Amendments: HMS FMP Amendment 5

In March 2017 the Council took final action to adopt Amendment 5 to the Fishery Management Plan for West U.S. Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP).  This amendment would create a Federal limited entry permit for the California large mesh drift gillnet (DGN) fishery.

Upon publication of NMFS’s final rule to establish the federal DGN permit, all California DGN permit holders would be eligible to apply for and receive a federal DGN permit. It is anticipated that the final rule will publish in 2018 such that a person holding a state permit at that time would be eligible to receive a 2018-2019 federal DGN permit. Federal DGN limited entry permits will be issued to individuals, and a vessel must be specified on the permit.  These permits will be issued annually for the fishing year starting April 1 and ending March 31 of the following year.  Permits thus expire on March 31 of each year, and after initial issuance, the permit renewal deadline will be April 30 of the fishing year for which the permit is valid.  A DGN permit that has expired will not be renewed unless the permit owner requests reissuance by July 31 (three months after the renewal application deadline) and NMFS determines that failure to renew was proximately caused by illness, injury, or death of the permit owner. If the permit expires, it will be forfeited and NMFS will not reissue the permit to anyone. These renewal deadlines (April 30 and July 31) differ from the current state permit renewal deadlines.