WA/OR/CA Hand/Mechanical Collection Fishery - MMPA List of Fisheries
U.S. fisheries are classified under the Marine Mammal Protection Act according to the level of incidental mortality or serious injury of marine mammals.
Current Classification on the List of Fisheries
|Estimated Number of Participants
|Clams, bait fish, ghost and bay shrimp, numerous other species
|Applicable Take Reduction Plans
|Marine Mammal Species/Stocks Killed or Injured
Basis for Current Classification
Classified as a Category III fishery based on the lack of documented mortality or serious injuries of marine mammals based on the available data.
Commercial fisheries that employ hand or mechanical collection methods within the intertidal or nearshore areas occur across all three U.S. West Coast states. Collection of clams and other mollusks in intertidal and subtidal areas, including razor, cockle, and butter clams, represent a substantial level of commercial harvest, especially in Oregon and Washington. The use of mechanical devices or pumps to harvest mollusks is not permitted in California. Harvest of various baitfish or aquaria collection species in nearshore waters also occurs, particularly in California.
The methods used for hand collection of targeted species can include shovels, hand pumps (especially for most clams), rakes, trowels, and hands (bare or protected). Hand powered tools are generally used in intertidal areas only. Methods for mechanical collection, especially for baitfish and aquaria species in nearshore or intertidal waters, can include dip nets, hand pumps (for bait shrimp), and small trawl nets, along with numerous other devices.
Management of hand and mechanical collection fisheries occurs with varying degrees within each state. “Health closure areas” due to the possible prevalence of biotoxins can be a concern for shellfish species.
In Washington, specific permits are needed to harvest important target species such as razor clams or burrowing shrimp. Commercial harvest of razor clams is allowed only on the detached Willapa Spits, located at the mouth of Willapa Bay. Fishermen must either register with a Department of Health certified razor clam dealer or become certified by the Department of Health individually.
In Oregon, harvest of intertidal clam and shrimp species require a commercial shellfish or intertidal animal harvest permit. Seasonal restrictions that can vary by area may apply. Subtidal harvest of clams requires a separate permit.
In California, permits that are relevant, depending on the specific target and gear used, include: tidal invertebrates, ghost shrimp, bay shrimp, and marine aquaria species. There are time and area restrictions that include marine conservation areas and state marine reserves.
|Original Category (Year added to the LOF)
|Original Number of Participants
|Basis for Original Classification
|Listed as Category III based on no observer, logbook, or stranding data available.
CA sea urchin;
WA/OR sea urchin, other clam, octopus, oyster, sea cucumber, scallop, ghost shrimp, dive, hand/mechanical;
WA/ OR bait shrimp, clam hand, dive or mechanical collection;
OR/CA sea urchin, sea cucumber dive, hand/mechanical collection
|Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list)
Timeline of Changes