Highly Migratory Species – Exempted Fishing Permits

Deep-Set Buoy Gear and Longline

An exempted fishing permit (EFP) is a permit issued under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to allow fishing activities that would otherwise be prohibited under a fishery management plan (EFP regulations are at 50 CFR 600.745). These permits are issued for limited testing, public display, data collection, exploratory fishing, compensation fishing, conservation engineering, health and safety surveys, environmental cleanup, and/or hazard removal purposes, to authorize the target or incidental harvest of species managed under an FMP or fishery regulations that would otherwise be prohibited.

Several EFPs have been issued in recent years by NOAA Fisheries to evaluate alternative gears and methods to target swordfish and other highly migratory species (HMS) species in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO). Together with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), we have been considering EFPs for alternative gears that will have minimal bycatch and demonstrate potential for economically viable West Coast HMS fisheries. Prior to NOAA Fisheries’ issuing the EFPs, the PFMC reviewed the EFP applications and provided their recommendations.

The PFMC procedures for HMS EFP consideration are found at:

Below is a summary of current and valid HMS EFPs.

Deep-Set Buoy Gear (DSBG)

Buoys floating on the ocean

Surface Buoy Array of Standard Deep-set Buoy Gear; PIER

DSBG employs a hook-and-buoy array gear configuration to target swordfish during the daytime in deep water, with hooks commonly set at depths below 250 meters. DSBG configurations include “standard” buoy gear (SBG) and “linked buoy gear” (LBG). SBG configurations consist of strike indicator buoys deployed at the surface, a vertical mainline, baited circle hooks at depth, and a weighted sinker to ensure that hooks reach depth rapidly. LBG additionally employs surface branch lines connecting the various strike indicator buoys, and more hooks at depth.

Standard Buoy Gear (SBG) EFPs renewed from 2018 and expiring on December 31, 2019.

Generic permit for Standard Buoy Gear

Applicant/Captain

Vessel Name

Vessel ID

Application

FRN

Dan Fuller

Audax

CF8370FH

Fuller

84 FR 20108
Published: 05/08/2019

William Sutton

Aurelia

597524

PIER

Scott Brenneman

Circle Hook

1286891

S. Brenneman

Jack Stephens

DEA

CF0012HY

Stephens

Ron Ellis

Defiance

40335

Ellis

Stephen Greyshock

Emma Ray

CF1878ZM

Greyshock

Tim Perguson

Espada

624462

Perguson

Michael Graves

Fishtail

1030136

Graves

Andrii Sidielnikov

Irbis

CF6266KM

Sidielnikov

John Ford

JB

550580

Ford

Lance Rienhart

Leah Gail

944172

PIER

Matt White

Lil Jack

595177

White

Bob Ball

Pacific Sword

CF4430GJ

Ball

Kent Jacobs

Patricia J

585405

Jacobs

Fred Hepp

Plumeria

599359

Hepp

Raymond Kennedy

Rainman

1272816

Kennedy

Dustin Selck

Scorpio

918500

Selck

Anthony Makul

Spirit

611940

PIER

Andrew Rasmussen

Sundowner

628101

Rasmussen

David Hutto

Terlingin

1223771

Hutto

Ben Stephens

Tres Mujeres

1066033

Stephens

Linked Buoy Gear (LBG) EFPs issued for 2018 - 2019 and expiring on December 31, 2019.

Generic permit for Linked Buoy Gear

Applicant/Captain

Vessel Name

Vessel ID

Application

FRN

Nathan Perez, Thomas Carson

Bear Flag 2

558683

 

Perez_Carson

84 FR 20108
Published: 05/08/2019

John Foster

Chula

1217070

Foster

Steve Mintz

D J

550062

Mintz

David Haworth

Elizabeth H

644228

Haworth

Donald Krebs

Gold Coast

622026

PIER

John Hall

Kaylee H

536620

Hall

Tim Athens

Outer Banks

969797

PIER

David Haworth

Pacific Horizon

627203

Haworth

Arthur Lorton

Sea Haven

635102

Lorton

Kelly Fukushima

Three Boys

CF2036TJ

PIER

* LBG EFPs may fish a combination of LBG and SBG

 

 

Line illustration on buoy gear types

Linked and Standard Deep-set Buoy Gear schematic; PIER.

 

Longline

Longline fishing gear consists of a horizontally-strung main line up to 100 kilometers (km) in length, supported at regular intervals by vertical float-lines connected to surface floats. Descending from the main line are branch-lines, each ending in a single, baited hook.The longline EFP allows two vessels to fish longline gear (both shallow-set and deep-set) for a two-year period in the EEZ off California and Oregon. Fishing must take place outside of the Southern California Bight (SCB) and seaward of the leatherback critical habitat area, or 50 nautical miles from shore, whichever distance is greater. Additional terms and conditions include observer coverage on all trips, night setting of shallow-set longlines, protected species interactions limits, total hook and set limits for the 24 month period, specific no-fishing areas, gear, bait and operational techniques.

Longline EFPs signed on April 29, 2019 and expiring 24 months from effective date.

Applicant/Captain

Vessel Name

Vessel ID

Application

FRN

EFP

David Haworth

Pacific Horizon

627203

Gibbs_Haworth

84 FR 20108
Published: 05/08/2019
Download File

John Gibbs

Southern Horizon

1052597

Download File

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which regulations describe the process for obtaining an EFP?

Regulations that describe the application and review process for EFPs are at 50 CFR 600.745. Regulations specific to HMS fishing are at 50 CFR 660.718.

Who can apply for a West Coast HMS EFP?

Anyone who is planning HMS fishing activities that would otherwise be prohibited by the regulations may apply to NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region for an EFP. The permit is issued to the applicant but a copy must be on the assigned vessel at all times during EFP fishing activity.

How do I apply for a West Coast HMS EFP?

Follow the procedures detailed in 50 CFR 600.745. Send your completed application to Chris Fanning at chris.fanning@noaa.gov in NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region, and contact him with any questions via email or (562) 980-4198. Applications received will be considered by the West Coast Regional Administrator.

How long does the application review process take?

It depends on the complexity of the project and PFMC’s meeting schedule. NOAA Fisheries recommends allowing the PFMC to review the application and considers the PFMC’s comments on each application.

NOAA Fisheries may need to conduct an environmental analysis of the impacts of issuing the EFP. This document would support the decision-making and inform the public of the EFP action. The Regional Administrator will consult with the PFMC before issuing an EFP. This usually involves a Federal Register notice of the receipt of your application, and discussion of the proposed activity at a PFMC meeting. Applicants should plan on at least 9 to 12 months from the date of application submittal before the EFP is issued.

Last updated by West Coast Regional Office on May 15, 2019

Exempted Fishing Permit