Fishing / Shellfishing - Harvest and Catch Reports
Date Published: November 2001
Number of Pages: 9
In Washington, sardines are managed under the Emerging Commercial Fishery provisions as a trial commercial fishery. A trial commercial fishery allows the harvest of a newly classified species, or harvest of a previously classified species in a new area or by new means (WAC 220-88-010). In February 2001, in response to a request from Washington-based fishers and processors, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a trial ocean purse seine sardine fishery for 2001.
The target of the trial fishery was sardines; however, anchovy, mackerel, and squid could also be landed. These coastal pelagic species (CPS) are managed by the Secretary of Commerce through the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) under a federal fishery management plan (FMP). By definition, a Washington trial commercial fishery cannot limit participation, and under current law, an experimental fishery (which allows participation to be limited) cannot be established for any fishery under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Commerce (i.e., a federally managed fishery) (WAC 220-88-020).
Current limited entry provisions and direct harvest controls have been developed in the FMP for waters south of 39E N latitude which encompasses most of the distribution of the CPS stocks and fisheries. This leaves specific management measures north of 39E N latitude (Oregon and Washington) up to the state management agencies, as long as those management measures conform to the overall guidelines of the FMP. PFMC develops and adopts separate annual harvest guidelines for the two areas which take into account the biological and ecological impacts of harvesting forage fish. State fishery management measures must be developed to ensure that the harvest guidelines are not exceeded.