California Pelagic Longline Final Rule
NOAA Fisheries is issuing a final rule to prohibit shallow longline sets of the type normally targeting swordfish on the high seas in the Pacific Ocean east of 150° W. long. by vessels managed under the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (FMP). This action is intended to protect endangered and threatened sea turtles from the adverse impacts of shallow longline fishing by U.S. longline fishing vessels in the Pacific Ocean and operating out of the west coast. This rule supplements the regulations that implement the FMP that prohibit shallow longline sets on the high seas in the Pacific Ocean west of 150° W. long. by vessels managed under that FMP. The FMP was partially approved by NOAA Fisheries on February 4, 2004. Together, these two regulations are expected to conserve leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles as required under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).