Groundfish: Fishery Management Plan and Amendments

The Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan describes how the Council develops decisions for management of the groundfish fishery. In some cases, it also contains specific, fixed fishery management designations. The plan has been amended several times, as detailed below.

Groundfish Fishery Management Plan as Amended and Appendices

Plan Amendments

Below are the Amendments to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan that have been approved, except Amendment 22, which is pending, and Amendment 8, which ultimately never passed via a final action Council vote. If the amendment you are looking for is not available from this webpage, you may send a request for a hard copy to:; please include the “Groundfish Amendment number” in the subject line.

  • Amendment 24: Amends the FMP to establish default harvest control rules for future decision-making
  • Amendment 23: Amends the harvest specifications framework to meet new requirements in the Magnuson‐Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act regarding annual catch limits and accountability measures, and to be consistent with the revised NS1 guidelines.
  • Amendment 22: Proposes a registration program for fishermen intending to land groundfish in the open access fishery, whether targeting those species or taking them incidentally while fishing for non-groundfish species (e.g., salmon, pink shrimp, California halibut) or nearshore species (e.g., cabezon, black rockfish). This amendment has been recommended by the Council to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and is under NMFS review.
  • Amendment 21-2: Reinstates a provision that was inadvertently deleted in a previous fishery management plan (FMP) amendment.
  • Amendment 21-1: Modification of the Intersector Allocation Amendment.
  • Amendment 21: Intersector allocation. Describes formal allocations of groundfish species and species’ complexes for sectors of the groundfish fishery.
  • Amendment 20: Trawl rationalization and individual fishing quotas.
  • Amendment 19: Essential fish habitat designation and minimization of adverse impacts environmental impact statement.
  • Amendment 18: Describes policy and program direction for bycatch monitoring and mitigation.
  • Amendment 17: Created a framework for a multi-year management process.
  • Amendment 16-5: Establishes a new overfished species rebuilding plan for petrale sole, which was declared overfished on February 9, 2010; revises all seven of the existing rebuilding plans for overfished species; revises the default proxies used to estimate the overfished threshold and rebuilding threshold for flatfish species; and, adds a new default harvest control rule. Amendment 16-5 has also been referred to as Secretarial Amendment 1.
  • Amendment 16-4: Re-evaluates and revises adopted rebuilding plans for seven depleted (overfished) groundfish species (bocaccio, canary rockfish, cowcod, darkblotched rockfish, Pacific ocean perch, widow rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish) so that the rebuilding periods are as short as possible, taking into account the status and biology of the depleted species, the socioeconomic needs of West Coast fishing communities, and the interaction of the depleted species within the marine ecosystem.
  • Amendment 16-3: Implements legally-compliant rebuilding plans, consistent with the framework established in Amendment 16-1, setting strategic rebuilding parameters to guide stock rebuilding for bocaccio, cowcod, widow rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish.
  • Amendment 16-2: Implements legally-compliant rebuilding plans, consistent with the framework established in Amendment 16-1, setting strategic rebuilding parameters to guide stock rebuilding for canary rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, lingcod, and Pacific ocean perch.
  • Amendment 16-1: Addressed National Standard 1 in the Magnuson-Stevens Act by establishing procedures for adopting and periodically reviewing rebuilding plans for overfished groundfish stocks. It also specifies what elements of rebuilding plans will be incorporated into the FMP and federal groundfish regulations.
  • Amendment 15: Established a limited entry program for the three non-tribal sectors of the Pacific Whiting fishery.
  • Amendment 14: Established a permit stacking system for the limited entry fixed gear sablefish fishery.
  • Amendment 13: Incorporated Magnuson-Stevens Act provisions for bycatch.
  • Amendment 12: Frameworked rebuilding plan development and content. (Note: A court decision in August 2001 remanded portions of Amendment 12 to NMFS for changes. Amendments 16-1, 16-2, and 16-3 incorporate the necessary changes.)
  • Amendment 11: Incorporated provisions of the Sustainable Fisheries Act into the FMP. Defined Essential Fish Habitat for West Coast groundfish. Defined optimum yield. Defined overfishing rates and thresholds.
  • Amendment 10: In 1996, the Council adopted a combined amendment to the groundfish and salmon FMPs: Amendment 10 to the groundfish FMP and Amendment 12 to the salmon FMP. Under the combined amendment, the FMPs allowed for salmonids to be retained in the Pacific whiting mid-water trawl fishery (otherwise prohibited for all net gear). While the regulations implementing Amendment 10 were never finalized by NMFS, key components of the Amendment were incorporated into Amendment 20.
  • Amendment 9: Created a sablefish endorsement for limited entry fixed gear vessels.
  • DRAFT Amendment 8: Considered establishing a fixed gear sablefish individual transferable quota system (consideration suspended at draft stage due to a Congressional moratorium on individual transferable quotas). Draft Amendment 8 was never adopted.
  • Draft Amendment 7: (Bycatch of Non-Groundfish Species).
  • Amendment 6: Established a limited entry permit system for the trawl and fixed gear sectors.
  • Amendment 5: Established a framework for specification and apportionment of harvest levels.
  • Amendment 4: Completely revised the FMP and created a framework for how harvest levels are specified.
  • Amendment 3: Completely revised the FMP and created a framework for how harvest levels are specified.
  • Amendment 2: Replaced by Amendment 4.
  • Amendment 1: Replaced by Amendment 4.