NMFS Announces Receipt of Exempted Fishing Permit Applications and Requests Comments

Photo by Tim Briggs

Notice from NMFS: November 15, 2917 – Link to Full Notice – Download Notice: NMFS-SEA-17-19 2018 Trawl Gear Exempted Fishing Permit — Enrollment Notice

Today, NMFS announced receipt of two exempted fishing permit (EFP) applications. The first application was received from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for an EFP to test commercial pot fishing gear for selective harvest of lingcod. The lingcod pot gear EFP is intended to provide for the selective harvest of lingcod with fixed gear inside the non-trawl rockfish conservation area (RCA), allowing harvest of lingcod within existing annual catch limits (ACLs) while keeping catch of co-occurring overfished species (e.g. yelloweye rockfish) within rebuilding ACLs.

The second application was received from the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, Environmental Defense Fund, Oregon Trawl Commission, and Midwater Trawlers Cooperative for an EFP to test if and how the removal of certain trawl gear, time, and area restrictions for the Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program may impact the nature and extent of bycatch of prohibited species. This EFP is intended to allow participating limited entry groundfish bottom trawl and midwater trawl vessels more flexibility in 2018 to target pelagic rockfish species, such as widow, chilipepper, and yellowtail rockfish.

The NMFS West Coast Region’s Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries has made a preliminary determination that the subject EFP applications contain all the required information and warrant further consideration. Therefore, NMFS announced that the Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries proposes to recommend that EFPs be issued.

Link to Full Notice