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Final Rule for Salmon Bycatch Minimization Measures in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery

February 23, 2021

Public notice: NMFS-SEA-2021-05. For information, contact: Brian Hooper, (206) 526-6117, brian.hooper@noaa.gov.

NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule to implement measures to minimize incidental take of Endangered Species Act-listed salmon by vessels in the Pacific coast groundfish fishery. The final rule published today in the Federal Register. The final rule is effective on March 25, 2021.

The final rule establishes: 

  1. Additional salmon bycatch management tools (e.g., area closures, gear restrictions), 
  2. Rules for accessing the Chinook salmon bycatch “reserve”, and 
  3. Closure thresholds for the trawl fishery to ensure recreational and fixed-gear fisheries could continue operating in years of high Chinook salmon bycatch in the trawl fishery.

This action is needed to minimize Endangered Species Act-listed Chinook and coho salmon bycatch in the Pacific coast groundfish fishery and comply with a December 2017 NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion on the continued operation of the fishery.  These measures were developed with the Pacific Fishery Management Council to meet conservation objectives while minimizing adverse economic impact to communities. 

Please see the NOAA Fisheries webpage for additional details and other supporting information.

Last updated by West Coast Regional Office on February 23, 2021