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Summary Report of the 2007 Experimental Purse Seine Fishery for Pacific Sardine (Sardinops sagax)

Category: Fishing / Shellfishing - Harvest and Catch Reports

Date Published: March 2008

Number of Pages: 12

Author(s): Corey Niles, Carol Henry

DESCRIPTION:

Pacific sardines (or pilchards) are managed under the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) fishery management plan. The Pacific Council develops and adopts a coastwide annual harvest guideline that is allocated seasonally with releases on January 1st, July 1st, and September 15th (Table 1). In 2007, the overall coastwide harvest guideline was 151,654 mt.

In Washington, participation in the sardine fishery is managed under the Emerging Commercial Fishery provisions (WAC 220-88-010). From 2000 through 2002, the WDFW held a trial purse seine fishery for Pacific sardines, under which the number of participants was unlimited. Following an extensive public process, which included establishing and meeting with a formal Sardine Advisory Board, the Director decided to advance the sardine fishery to an experimental fishery and limit the number of permits available.

WDFW decided to convert from a trial to an experimental fishery largely because of the rapid expansion of the sardine fishery in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon began the Northwest fishery in 1999, yielding 771 mt in sardine landings. Landings in the Northwest then increased to 37,923 mt in 2002 and 36,862 mt in 2003. In 2007, Northwest landings reached 46,715 mt.