NOAA Fisheries is now accepting Salmon Mitigation Plan (SMP) proposals for the 2021 Pacific whiting season. Collection-of-information requirements have been approved and are effective today (Federal Register).
The deadline to submit an SMP for the 2021 Pacific whiting season is June 28, 2021.
What is an SMP?
An SMP is a voluntary agreement by a cooperative or group of at least three vessels in the Pacific whiting fishery (i.e., Mothership Cooperative Program, Catcher/processor Cooperative Program, or Pacific whiting Shorebased IFQ fishery) to manage Chinook salmon bycatch. Vessels party to the SMP commit to voluntarily comply with the bycatch minimization measures and other provisions of the SMP.
What are the benefits of participating in an SMP?
Vessels that are party to an approved SMP will have automatic access to the Chinook salmon bycatch reserve without any further action from NOAA Fisheries.
Where do I submit an SMP for approval?
West Coast Region, ATTN: Fisheries Permit Office, Bldg. 1, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115; or WCR-Permits@noaa.gov.
Where can I find more info about SMP requirements?
The final rule and a plain language compliance guide are available.