June Council Meeting Schedule Change

Rules and procedures

Council Operating Procedures

The Council Operating Procedures (COPs) guide the Council in developing fishery management plans, plan amendments, and regulatory measures for ocean fisheries off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California.

COPs relate to Council operations, rather than fishery regulations or management specifications. They specify how the Council and its advisory groups run their meetings, including how public comments are considered. They document schedules for developing plan amendments and annual management measures, and cover other important processes for the Council.

Full Council Operating Procedures:

As amended through September 2023 Download the full set of COPs or by topic:

List of Council Operating Procedures by topic:


  1. General Council meeting operations
  2. Advisory subpanels
  3. Plan, technical, and management teams
  4. Scientific and Statistical Committee
  5. Enforcement Consultants
  6. Habitat Committee
  7. Groundfish Allocation Committee
  8. Ad-hoc committees


  1. Management and activity cycles
  2. Preseason salmon management process
  3. Plan amendment cycles
  4. Update and communication of research and data needs
  5. Confidentiality of statistics
  6. Documentation of outside agreements
  7. Salmon estimation methodology updates and review
  8. Weather-related adjustment to salmon fisheries
  9. Foreign fishing permit review procedure
  10. Protocol for industry-sponsored salmon test fishery proposals
  11. Protocol for consideration of exempted fishing permits for groundfish fisheries
  12. Protocol for consideration of exempted fishing permits for highly migratory species fisheries
  13. Highly migratory species management recommendations to regional fishery management organizations
  14. Essential Fish Habitat Review Process
  15. Protocol for consideration of exempted fishing permits for coastal pelagic species fisheries
  16. Protocol for consideration of exempted fishing permits for shared ecosystem component species
  17. Groundfish methodology reviews
  18. Methodology and data review process for coastal pelagic species
  19. Process for Initiating Allocation Reviews

Statement of Organization, Practices and Procedures

The Statement of Organization, Practices, and Procedures (SOPPs) deal with the internal functioning of the Council and its staff: the purposes of the Council, Council members and designees, advisory body membership and function, conduct of meetings, employment practices, financial management, and record keeping.

Council’s Statement of Organization, Practices, and Procedures.

Harassment reporting procedures policy

The purpose of this policy is to protect Regional Fishery Management Council (Council) process participants and provide guidance on taking action related to incidents or allegations of harassment experienced by Council process participants.

Harassment Reporting Procedures Policy (version March 2023)

Advisory body ground rules

All Council participants are responsible for holding each other accountable to the Advisory Body Ground Rules.

Advisory Body Ground Rules (adopted June 2023)

Rules of conduct for employees and advisors of Regional Fishery Management Councils

The Rules of Conduct of Employees and Advisors of Regional Fishery Management Councils is prepared by the Ethics Law and Programs Division of the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Commerce. All Council employees and advisory body members are required to agree to abide by these rules before serving.

Rules of Conduct of Employees and Advisors of Regional Fishery Management Councils (2022)

Regional operating agreement

This Operating Agreement (Agreement) confirms the mutual interests of, and describes the working relationship among, the following parties: Pacific Fishery Management Council; National Marine Fisheries Service West Coast Regional Office, NMFS’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center; NMFS’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center; NOAA’s Office of General Counsel, Northwest and Southwest Sections,and NMFS’ Office of Law Enforcement, West Coast Division.

Regional Operating Agreement (last updated December 2021)