NMFS Renews SeaShare’s Prohibited Species Donation Permits for Pacific Salmon, Halibut

SeaShare, a Bainbridge Island, Wash.-based social services organization that’s a major contributor of seafood to local food banks is expected to benefit from a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) decision to renew its prohibited species donation (PSD) permits.

NMFS announced in the Federal Register on May 18 that the agency had renewed donation permits for Pacific salmon and Pacific halibut with trawl gear off Alaska. This action is necessary, according to the agency, to comply with provisions of the PSD program and is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC).

SeaShare has received permits for distribution of the donations since 1994, to benefit their efforts to provide food for the hungry

SeaShare donors of prohibited species include 12 shoreside processors, 31 catcher processors, four mother ships and 140 catcher vessels, said Jim Harmon, executive director of the nonprofit entity.

“The NMFS staff we work with are proud of the program and work to keep it, and us, up to date,” Harmon said.

Groundfish fisheries by American vessels in the exclusive economic zone of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area are managed by NMFS in accordance with the fishery management plan for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area and the fishery management plan for groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.

The fishery management plans were prepared by the NPFMC under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

Fishing for halibut in waters in and off Alaska is governed by the Convention between the U.S. and Canada for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. 

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) promulgates regulations pursuant to the Convention. The IPHC’s regulations are subject to approval by the Secretary of State with concurrence from the Secretary of Commerce.

After approval by the secretaries, the IPHC regulations are published in the Federal Register as annual management measures.