Pacific Council News Spring 2020: Coastal pelagic species

Pacific sardine assessment, harvest specifications, and management measures set

In April the Council adopted the 2020 Pacific sardine assessment with the following harvest specifications and management measures:

  • Biomass: 28,276 metric tons (mt)
  • Overfishing limit: 5,525 mt
  • P* (uncertainty) buffer: 0.40
  • Acceptable biological catch: (Tier 2): 4,288 mt
  • Annual catch limit: 4,288 mt
  • Annual catch target: 4,000 mt 

The Council recommended a 20% incidental catch allowance for commercial CPS fisheries, except for live bait and minor directed fishing; directed that take to be allowed for the live bait fishery, without incidental limits, with a per-trip limit of 1 mt of Pacific sardine if the live bait fishery attains 2,500 mt; recommended that if the annual catch target of 4,000 mt is attained, a 1 mt per trip limit of Pacific sardine would apply to live bait, and a 1 mt per trip limit of incidentally caught Pacific sardine would apply to commercial CPS fisheries; and recommended an incidental per-trip allowance of 2 mt of Pacific sardine in non-CPS fisheries.The Council also expressed support for the exempted fishing permit requests from the California Wetfish Producers Association and the West Coast Pelagic Conservation Group, which were submitted in November, as well as the April 2020 public comment by the California Wetfish Producers Association.

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