Current HMS SAFE Report: Monitoring and Enforcement

Monitoring and Enforcement

Status of HMS Permits

The reporting and recordkeeping requirements of the HMS FMP became effective February 10, 2005, and formalized the requirement for an HMS permit. Title 50, Section 660.707 of the Code of Federal Regulations outlines the required HMS permit with an endorsement for a specific gear for all U.S. commercial and recreational charter fishing vessels fishing for HMS within the U.S. EEZ off the States of California, Oregon, and Washington. The permit requirements also apply for U.S. commercial fishing vessels that land or transship HMS shoreward of the outer boundary of the U.S. EEZ off the States of California, Oregon, and Washington. The permit must be on board the vessel and available for inspection by an authorized officer. The following table shows the number of valid HMS permits by year.

HMS permits recorded in the permit database for each year since the regulation became effective on February 10, 2005. The permit data presented reflects valid permits and does not necessarily reflect total number of active vessels (i.e., vessels with catch and effort history in a given fishery year).

Year California Oregon Washington Other Total
2005 677 626 298 135 1,736
2006 800 684 339 152 1,975
2007 785 561 318 108 1,772
2008 826 569 331 84 1,810
2009 903 650 381 54 1,988
2010 887 620 383 80 1,970
2011 862 650 340 106 1,958
2012 826 625 348 113 1,912
2013 842 647 378 140 2,007
2014 851 597 433 75 1,956
2015 867 608 441 86 2,002
2016 828 576 414 77 1,895

Notes: The permits are issued to the vessel owner(s) not to the vessels themselves. The totals indicate the number of valid permits in each year and cannot be added across years. The “Other” column includes non-west coast home ports/states and permits issued with no home port/state designated.

HMS Fisheries Data Collections

Catch, effort, size composition, and landings data are critical for monitoring HMS fisheries and assessing the status of HMS stocks. The SWFSC monitors seven Pacific Ocean HMS fisheries. Logbook, observer, landing, and size composition data from these fisheries come from various sources, as shown in the table below.

Fishery Logbooks Observer Landings Size Composition
North Pacific Albacore Troll F P/S/I D
Large Mesh Drift Gillnet S F P O
Harpoon S P
EPO Purse Seine I I C/P D
California Longline F F H H
California HMS Sport S D (PBF)
Albacore Sport (OR/WA) F

Logbooks/Observer: F – federal; S – state; I – international
Landings monitored by: P – PacFIN; C – cannery; H – Hawaii
Size composition: O – observer; D – dock-side

All HMS permit holders, including HMS recreational charter vessels, are required to maintain logbooks. All information specified on the logbook forms must be recorded on the forms within 24 hours after the completion of each fishing day. The original logbook form for each fishing trip must be submitted to NMFS within 30 days of the end of each trip. Each form must be signed and dated by the fishing vessel operator.

The CDFW implemented a harpoon logbook and permit program in 1974. Logbooks are submitted to CDFW and forwarded to SWFSC for editing and keypunching.

The gillnet logbook program was implemented in 1980 by the CDFW. Logbooks are submitted to CDFW and forwarded to SWFSC for editing and keypunching.

Purse-seine vessels based on the west coast primarily target CPS but occasionally target HMS (albacorer bluefin tuna) when they are available and market conditions are favorable. Logbook data are required to be submitted to NMFS when these vessels target HMS.

Participants in the west-coast based longline fisheries submit logbook data to SWFSC. Logbook data are maintained at SWFSC and are combined with Hawaii longline data for international reporting. PacFIN data are not used in the estimation of total annual catch estimates for Pacific HMS pelagic longline fisheries.

CPFV vessel owners based in California submit logbook data to CDFW who in turn make the data available to SWFSC. SWFSC staff extracts and summarize the HMS component of the data for reporting purposes. CPFV fisheries in Washington and Oregon occasionally target albacore during the summer months when fish are close enough to shore. When targeting albacore, CPFV vessel owners complete a CPFV logbook and submit the data to SWFSC where the data are maintained and combined with summarized CPFV data from California.