Request for Comments Proposed Rule for Vessel Movement, Monitoring, and Declaration Management for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery

On October 10, 2019, NOAA Fisheries published a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register (84 FR 54579) to implement proposed revisions for Vessel Movement, Monitoring, and Declaration Management for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery. The public comment period will end on November 12, 2019.

Background

NMFS proposes revisions to reporting and monitoring provisions for vessels participating in the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery.

This proposed action would:

  • Increase the position transmission rate for certain vessels using NMFS type-approved vessel monitoring system units, including limited entry groundfish vessels, open access vessels using non-groundfish trawl gear (ridgeback prawn, California halibut, and sea cucumber trawl), and any vessels that use open access gear targeting groundfish or that have groundfish bycatch (salmon troll, prawn trap, Dungeness crab, halibut longline, California halibut line gear, and sheephead trap);
  • allow midwater trawl vessels participating in the Pacific whiting fishery to change their landing declarations while at sea;
  • exempt groundfish trawl vessels from observer coverage while testing authorized fishing gear;
  • and allow shorebased Individual Fishing Quota fixed gear vessels to deploy pot gear in one management area while retrieving gear from another management area on a single trip.

The proposed action will increase monitoring efficiency and effectiveness, improve enforcement of restricted areas, and increase operational flexibility for groundfish fishery participants.


To view and comment on the Proposed Rule for these regulatory revisions in the Federal Register go to:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/10/2019-21954/magnuson-stevens-act-provisions-fisheries-off-west-coast-states-vessel-movement-monitoring-and

For more information contact: NMFS West Coast Region at 206-526-6140 or visit our website at www.fisheries.noaa.gov