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Compliance Guide for Commercial Fishermen off Washington, Oregon, and California

December 16, 2019

A plain language guide to the changes in West Coast closed areas resulting from Amendment 28 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan.

NOAA Fisheries published a final rule on November 19, 2019 (84 FR 63966) implementing changes to area closures for commercial vessels fishing in Federal waters off Washington, Oregon, and California, effective January 1, 2020.

This final rule:

  • Establishes the Deep-Water Ecosystem Conservation Area (DECA) closure (>3,500 meters);
  • Changes the coastwide network of essential fish habitat conservation areas (EFHCAs).
  • Removes the groundfish bottom trawl Rockfish Conservation Area (trawl RCA) off of Oregon and
  • California and replaces it with a tool called Block Area Closures (BACs).
  • Includes clarifications regarding regulations for vessels fishing with limited entry midwater trawl gear.

Closed areas revised by Amendment 28 are specific to gear types used, so do not necessarily apply to
everyone. See the appropriate sections of the guide to learn how it may apply to you.

Last updated by West Coast Regional Office on 03/23/2022

Commercial Fisheries Commercial Fishing Fisheries Management Groundfish Essential Fish Habitat Small Entity Compliance Guide