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Regulatory Revisions to Vessel Movement, Monitoring, and Declaration Management for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery


Fishing Type
Affected Species
Action Status
Final Rule
Effective July 13, 2020, except for the amendments to Sec. 660.14, which are effective September 9, 2020
Point of Contact
Shannon Penna, Sustainable Fisheries Division, (562) 980-4238


This final rule revises reporting and monitoring provisions for vessels participating in the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery.

This final action:

  • Increases 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);
  • allows midwater trawl vessels participating in the Pacific whiting fishery to change their landing declarations while at sea;
  • exempts groundfish trawl vessels from observer coverage while testing authorized fishing gear; and,
  • allows 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 final action increases monitoring efficiency and effectiveness, improve enforcement of restricted areas, and increase operational flexibility for groundfish fishery participants.

Last updated by West Coast Regional Office on 12/19/2023

Observer Program Vessel Monitoring Systems