NMFS Aims to Rebuild Pacific Sardine Stocks

Image via National Marine Fisheries Service.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking comments by May 24 on a proposal to implement annual harvest specifications and management measures for the northern subpopulation of Pacific sardine for the fishing year from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.

This proposed rule is intended to conserve, manage and rebuild the Pacific sardine stock off the U.S. West Coast.

Pacific sardine harvest would be allowed only for use as live bait, in minor directed fisheries, as incidental catch in other fisheries, or as authorized under exempted fishing permits.

The proposed action would prohibit most directed commercial fishing for Pacific sardine off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. The incidental harvest of Pacific sardine would be limited to 20% by weight of all fish per trip when caught with other stocks managed under the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan, or up to two metric tons per trip when caught with non-Coastal Pelagic Species stocks. The proposed annual catch limit for the 2022-2023 Pacific sardine fishing year is 4,274 metric tons.

Comments may be submitted electronically via the federal e-Rulemaking Portal by going to https://www.regulations.gov and entering NOAA-NMFS-2022-0046 in the Search box. Then click on the “Comment” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments by the May 24 cutoff date. Comments sent by any other method or received after the end of the comment period may not be considered by NMFS.

All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments. To do so enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous.