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Fishing Hotline
360-902-2500

Shellfish Rule
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1-866-880-5431

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For more information on
fishing, please contact the
WDFW Fish Program.
360-902-2700
Fish Program District Biologists

For fishing regulation
questions, e-mail us at:
fishregs@dfw.wa.gov

For all other questions and comments, e-mail us at:
fishpgm@dfw.wa.gov

 

 
  Pink Shrimp commercial fishing vessel off the coast of Washington State
Pink Shrimp commercial fishing vessel
off the coast of Washington State.
 

Eulachon-Shrimp Trawl Observer Project

On March 13, 2009, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed to list the Southern Distinct Population Segment (which consists of all eulachon spawning south of the Dixon Entrance and Nass River, BC) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (74 FR 10857; 50 CFR Part 223: 10857-10876). Subsequently, NOAA Fisheries announced that it is listing the southern distinct population segment (DPS) of eulachon as threatened under the ESA. The listing became effective on May 17, 2010.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) provided NMFS with comments: WDFW felt there was a paucity of genetic data and limited understanding of how freshwater and oceanic environments affect eulachon population structure. They stated that, without direct observation, it was impossible to estimate the amount of bycatch in the Washington shrimp trawl fishery. Furthermore, it was recognized that fishery exploitation could not be calculated due to an unknown terminal run size. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and WDFW sought and were awarded funds in 2010 by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service to support a bi-state, multi-part project to address these limitations. The shrimp trawl observer project is one of four parts of the project and is intended to assess and reduce the impacts of shrimp trawl operations on eulachon smelt by initiating an observer program to estimate the bycatch rates in Washington‘s ocean shrimp trawl fishery and by developing and testing modifications to ocean shrimp trawl gear or operations.

Beginning in 2011, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is deploying observers on shrimp trawl vessels to collect bycatch data.

The links below provide important information for Washington shrimp trawl license holders and vessel operators.

 MORE INFORMATION  Notices to Industry
April 2011
March 2011
 MORE INFORMATION  Important Information

2011 Washington Shrimp Trawl Permit Conditions

Pink Shrimp Trawl Observer Project Vessel Manual

Skipper Logbook

Information regarding eulachon smelt and the listing can be found at the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Northwest Regional Office link below:
http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Other-Marine-Species/Eulachon.cfm

Fishery Manager: Lorna Wargo
(360) 249-1221

Project Lead: Brad Speidel
(360) 581-6131

Commercial

Coastal Pink Shrimp Fishery

 MORE INFORMATION  Annual Letters
April 2014
March 2012
March 2011
March, 2010
December 7, 2009
November 19, 2009
January, 2008
March, 2007

History

The Washington coastal pink shrimp fishery dates back to the late 1950’s. In the early years, the number of vessels in the fishery generally numbered less than two-dozen; and until the 1970’s, landings did not exceed two million pounds. During the following two decades, the fishery expanded with abundant shrimp and good markets. In 1988, just over 18 million pounds of pink shrimp were landed by 53 vessels. In 1990, nearly 100 vessels landed about 15 million pounds at an ex-vessel price per pound ranging from 45 cents to 64 cents. However, within a few years a dramatic decline in local abundance drove many fishers out of the fishery. The fleet numbered just over 50 vessels in 1994, and fewer than 30 four years later. Since the late 1990’s, trawling for pink shrimp has improved some. The market remains relatively flat with ex-vessel values ranging from 15 to 35 cents per pound, but the 20 to 30 fishers still active annually in the fishery have benefited from an apparent increase in pink shrimp abundance.

Hoop Grate Excluder
Hoop Grate Excluder

Management

Compared to other trawl fisheries, the pink shrimp fishery provides fishers a stable commercial opportunity. Management of the fishery is passive; a scheduled season runs from April through October each year, and there is no quota or total allowable catch. Regulations are in place to restrict mesh size, count per pound, and the incidental harvest of other species.

The most significant management action recently taken has been the implementation of regulations requiring the use of fin fish excluders to protect over-fished stocks of rockfish. Typically, rockfish and other species represented about 5% of the total value of the shrimp fishery. In 2000, the Pacific Fishery Management Council determined canary rockfish to be overfished under the terms of the Sustainable Fisheries Act.

Pink Shrimp off-load at Westport, WA
Pink Shrimp off-load at Westport, WA

In response to this determination Washington, Oregon, and California committed to reducing the incidental take of canary rockfish in state managed ocean pink shrimp fisheries. Finfish excluders were deemed the most effective approach. Initially, the use of excluders was voluntary through a program that provided fishers time to experiment with the different types and designs, make modifications, and advise mangers on regulations. Through this program, finfish excluders were made mandatory mid-season in 2001 and 2002; and permanently beginning in 2003. The landings of canary rockfish and other fin fish species now comprise less than 0.01 percent of the total value.

In Washington, there are approximately 100 pink shrimp permits for the coastal fishery but only a quarter to a third of these are actively fished each year. The majority of the shrimp fleet is based at Westport; a couple of vessels operate out of Ilwaco. Pink shrimp are sold to buyers and processors in Westport, Tokeland, and Ilwaco.

Stock Abundance and Harvest

Pink shrimp abundance off the coast of Washington is unknown but assumed stable. Agency reductions in force in 1993 eliminated active pink shrimp management and a mandatory logbook program was discontinued. Catch information is available but, by itself is insufficient for assessing stock strength.

The Washington coastal fishery typically lands about seven to eight million pounds annually. Most fishing occurs off the central and southern coast of Washington.

Rules and Regulations

WAC 220-52-075
Shrimp - Shellfish harvest logs

WAC 220-52-050
Ocean pink shrimp trawl fishery -- Coastal waters.

Pink Shrimp Landings

Pink Shrimp Landings and Number of Vessels: 1990-2011
Pink Shrimp Landings and Number of Vessels: 1990-2012

Pink Shrimp Landings and Total Direct Value: 1990-2011
Pink Shrimp Landings and Total Direct Value: 1990-2012
Pink Shrimp Landings and Direct Value per Vessel: 1990-2011Pink Shrimp Landings and
Direct Value per Vessel: 1990-2012
Shrimp boat licenses 1996-2011
Ocean Pink Shrimp Licenses Issued
Number of Active License-Vessels 1996-2012
Pink Shrimp Landings by Month for 2011, 2012 and 2013 and the 15 Year Average
Pink Shrimp Landings by Month for
2011, 2012 and 2013 and the 15 Year Average
Washington Catch by Combined Fish Ticket Areas
WA North and South, and Oregon
Washington Catch by Combined Fish Ticket Areas
WA North and South, and Oregon

 

Washington State Coastal Pink Shrimp Fishery Summary
Annual Landings by Catch Area
Year Marine Fish Catch Area Code Total
58B 59A 59A1 59A2 60A 60A1 60A2 61
1990 28,641 302,716 12,427,304 786,936 13,545,597
1991 328,468 1,132,820 7,974,766 507,328 9,943,382
1992 252,943 174,749 9,500,813 2,044,883 11,973,388
1993 1,243,050 1,784,576 11,872,539 555,558 15,455,723
1994 425,251 4,760,229 276,978 5,462,458
1995 48,064 1,419,335 5,684,903 106,157 7,258,459
1996 1,391,465 3,885,385 37,900 5,314,750
1997 28,186 171,307 4,608,731 148,173 4,956,397
1998 86,105 174 8,216 409,957 585,529 547,951 1,637,932
1999 46,540 503,395 996,828 1,099,256 2,646,019
2000 2,671,533 1,160,292 521,083 4,352,908
2001 34,306 349,936 4,619,290 1,075,507 511,305 6,590,344
2002 19,312 186,820 7,608,073 695,342 1,538,663 10,048,210
2003 102,283 141,350 5,569,799 515,258 1,565,112 7,893,802
2004 57,820 175,088 2,501,330 637,285 2,008,764 5,380,287
2005 233,440 233,896 2,982,386 770,862 2,044,471 6,265,055
2006 48,073 909,028 818,339 2,361,239 555,654 1,490,308 6,182,641
2007 440,436 149,153 1,298,449 108,627 1,245,947 3,242,612
2008 914,602 183,885 3,527,792 639,115 1,002,600 6,267,994
2009 117,031 342,825 3,911,381 167,510 2,471,839 7,010,586
2010 69,170 4,146,637 362,361 4,891,905 9,470,073
2011 31,360 2,468,055 1,679,342 2,427,696 1,108,091 1,298,296 9,012,840
2012 91,432 960,723 5,341,628 725,157 2,195,746 9,314,686
2013 294,365 196,116 10,205,297 1,286,946 1,289,023 13,271,747
Annual Landings by Month
Year April May June July August September October November Total
1990 1,145,732 3,014,017 3,095,241 2,962,134 1,819,347 1,251,863 257,263 13,545,597
1991 1,111,842 1,245,240 1,553,606 1,074,039 2,409,264 1,219,723 1,244,553 85,115 9,943,382
1992 1,880,430 729,048 1,534,000 2,124,590 1,901,198 1,961,599 1,842,523 11,973,388
1993 2,879,016 4,691,648 4,339,014 1,397,777 1,322,177 519,489 306,602 15,455,723
1994 627,439 788,394 862,003 1,252,081 1,333,002 355,609 243,930 5,462,458
1995 587,168 1,448,668 1,516,247 1,004,354 1,217,112 1,226,593 241,725 16,592 7,258,459
1996 277,724 719,178 880,047 887,284 1,000,028 1,105,926 444,563 5,314,750
1997 280,599 1,139,541 887,297 922,964 937,249 685,726 103,021 4,956,397
1998 210,762 551,637 266,399 284,630 256,430 68,074 1,637,932
1999 169,436 506,410 605,533 468,097 352,204 293,177 251,162 2,646,019
2000 40,384 275,814 1,447,889 1,058,385 681,044 651,333 198,059 4,352,908
2001 1,307,752 1,249,542 1,465,419 865,359 919,403 486,567 296,302 6,590,344
2002 604,441 1,273,203 1,822,342 1,662,659 2,245,624 1,242,122 1,197,819 10,048,210
2003 208,208 1,118,329 1,084,711 1,619,314 1,844,736 1,487,658 530,846 7,893,802
2004 1,118,762 1,578,294 906,721 713,399 446,162 453,985 162,964 5,380,287
2005 344,363 853,423 955,283 1,075,122 1,305,030 1,406,580 325,254 6,265,055
2006 1,104,844 1,856,060 1,327,280 637,969 626,292 393,501 236,695 6,182,641
2007 49,777 312,309 547,097 695,956 967,661 750,755 21,685 3,345,240
2008 110,233 1,342,373 1,787,065 1,547,481 859,714 490,993 130,135 6,267,994
2009 252,096 1,002,120 1,339,656 1,123,879 1,283,356 1,537,925 471,554 7,010,586
2010 413,382 1,334,745 1,706,792 1,350,675 2,243,395 1,644,360 776,724 9,470,073
2011 214,513 1,494,905 1,894,594 1,924,418 1,679,092 1,066,789 738529 9,012,840
2012 611,375 1,495,587 1,576,243 1,593,176 1,558,745 1,286,057 1,193,503 9,314,686
2013 986,804 1,892,728 2,517,337 2,044,132 2,347,650 1,932,627 1,550,469 13,271,747