NMFS Issues Enforcement Policy Pertaining to Retention of Salmon Heads and Guts for Meal Production Under the Salmon Donation Program

April 24, 2002 - 10:30 a.m.

Notice of a fishery management action.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will not enforce regulations that could be interpreted to prohibit converting Pacific halibut heads or salmon heads and guts into meal under the prohibited species donation (PSD) program, according to Jeff Passer, Special-Agent-In Charge, Alaska Enforcement Division, NMFS. The retention of Pacific halibut and salmon incidentally caught in specified groundfish fisheries is authorized for purposes of donation to hunger relief organizations. Regulations at 50 CFR part 679.26 that govern the PSD program also prohibit a processor from retaining salmon or Pacific halibut, except for the purpose of processing and delivering the prohibited species to hunger relief organizations.

Concern exists that regulations governing the PSD program would prohibit processors from retaining the heads and guts of prohibited species for meal production that ultimately is sold. NMFS does not believe that retention of Pacific halibut or salmon heads and guts for meal constitutes sufficient potential for revenue to undermine the intent of the PSD program. Rather, concern continues to be focused on prohibiting the sale, trade or barter of edible flesh. Therefore, NMFS intends to propose regulations that would clarify the conditions under which parts of prohibited species may be retained by a processor in a manner that would not undermine the intent of the PSD program.

This enforcement policy will remain in effect until regulations are implemented that clarify NMFS's intent with respect to the retention of prohibited species heads and guts for meal production under the PSD program.

This information bulletin only provides notice of a policy change that affects regulatory enforcement.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on February 11, 2019