Amendment 21 to the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan
NOAA Fisheries is publishing a notice of decision (NOD) on approving the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s proposed amendment to the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan (Amendment 21), which would limit ocean salmon fishery impacts on Chinook salmon availability as prey for endangered Southern Resident killer whales, during years of particularly low Chinook salmon abundance.
Amendment 21 sets a threshold for annual Chinook salmon abundance, currently estimated at 966,000 in waters north of Cape Falcon, Oregon, below which the Council and NOAA Fisheries would take additional fishery management actions through the adoption of annual ocean salmon management measures. Above this abundance threshold, ocean salmon fisheries will be managed consistent with the existing Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan.
Amendment 21 does not include implementing regulations; therefore, there is no final rule related to this amendment.
NOAA Fisheries will continue to work with its partners in Canada, the State of Washington, tribes, and interest groups, to reduce impacts from the three main threats to the whales to improve Southern Resident access to their preferred prey, Chinook salmon, reduce vessel interference in Southern Resident foraging and other activities, and cut exposure to and contamination by pollution that threatens their health and reproduction.
If you have any questions, please contact Jeromy Jording (Anadromous Harvest Branch) at 360-763-2268 or Jeromy.Jording@noaa.gov.