NMFS + NOAA
If you have questions for NMFS about the implementation of catch shares, call 206-526-4353.
For web-based information, here are links to pertinent areas within the NMFS website:
Click on the informational documents link to obtain fact sheets that cover:
- Important dates for permits, endorsements and licenses
- Trawl Catch Share Program Mandatory Economic Data Collection FAQs
- Observer Program FAQs
- Individual Fishing Quota First Receivers
- Catch Monitor Providers for First Receivers
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) reminds the fishing industry of several year-end items for the groundfish fishery's trawl rationalization program, a catch share program, as we approach 2016.
The limited entry fixed gear and open access sablefish daily trip limit fisheries north of 36 degrees north latitude with close on November 1, 2015. Landings of sablefish must begin by midnight, October 31, 2015.
In the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery, retention of incidentally caught Pacific Halibut north of Point Chehalis, WA is prohibited, effective October 13, 2015.
NMFS has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (80 FR 53088; September 2, 2015) that would clarify and expand the methods available by which quota share (QS) owners in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota Program would divest themselves of excess QS. The proposed rule is currently available for public review and comment.
Since implementation of the trawl rationalization program, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NMFS have been working to implement additional regulatory changes to further improve the program and respond to industry needs. QS permit owners who exceed control rules must divest by November 30, 2015, at which time NMFS will revoke their excess. The rulemaking is intended to add another option for divestiture and clarify revocation procedures.
The process for divestiture of excess QS proposed rule includes three distinct proposed actions:
- Allowing QS permit owners who exceed the initial November 2015 aggregate control limit to abandon QS to NMFS,
- Allowing QS permit owners who exceed the aggregate control limit in 2016 and beyond to abandon QS to NMFS, and
- If a QS permit owner does not take action to meet either an individual species control limit across multiple QS permits or the aggregate control limit, implementing methods by which NMFS will revoke and redistribute QS from such QS permit owners.
The rule is available here.
Public comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., local time on October 2, 2015.
The Pacific Council and its advisory bodies will meet June 10-16 in Spokane, at the Doubletree by Hilton.322 N. Spokane Falls CourtSpokane, WA 99201
Download the June 2015 Agenda
And of course you can stream live audio fo the meeting, beginning Friday, June 12th: Live Audio Stream.
Beginning June 1, 2015, big skate must be sorted in the Shorebased IFQ Program and vessels participating in the Shorebased IFQ Program are subject to the following big skate cumulative limits:
- Between June 1 & June 30: each vessel may not land more than a total of 15,000 lb of big skate;
- Periods 4-6 (June-August, September-October, and November-December): each vessel may not land more than a total 20,000 lb of big skate per two-month period.
Pacific whiting quota pounds (QP) were issued to quota share (QS) accounts on May 14, 2015 and surplus carryover QP will be issued to vessel accounts on or before May 26, 2015. To view each NMFS transfer, participants may log into their QS or vessel account and click on the 'Transfer Summary' tab.
Participants in the West Coast sablefish longline fishery are invited to a series of meetings scheduled March 24-27th, 2015, from Astoria to Port Orford, OR. The purpose of these meetings is to share and discuss results of 2014 research on seabird bycatch avoidance measures and to discuss options for appropriate seabird bycatch requirements in light of research results and the experience of individual longline fishermen. Lunch will be provided at each meeting.
Meetings are set for Asoria (March 24), Newport (March 25), Charleston (March 26) and Port Orford (March 27).
For location information, see the "2015 Port Visit Schedule" at Washington Sea Grant's and OSU's Seabird Bycatch website.
Proposed Rule to Establish an Interim 2015 Tribal Whiting Allocation and Extend Dates for Reapportionment: Proposed rule & request for comments
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (80 FR 12611). This rule proposes an interim tribal whiting allocation of 17.5% of the U.S. Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the 2015 season only. This proposal is consistent with the request of the Makah Tribe, the only tribe that has expressed intent to participate in the 2015 whiting fishery.