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CA Yellowtail/Barracuda/White Seabass Drift Gillnet Fishery

Current Classification on 2017 LOF

Category II
Estimated Number of Participants 30
Target Species Yellowtail and white seabass, and secondarily barracuda
Applicable Take Reduction Plans N/A
Observer Coverage Observer coverage for 2002, 2003, and 2004, was 11.5%, 10.4%, and 17.6%, respectively.  There was no observer coverage in this fishery between 2004-2009.
Marine Mammal Species/Stocks Killed or Injured  CA sea lion, U.S.;
Long-beaked common dolphin, CA;
Short-beaked common dolphin, CA/OR/WA

^ Number of participants estimates are based on state and federal fisheries permit data.  The estimated number of participants is expressed in terms of the number of active participants in the fishery, when possible.  If this information is not available, the estimated number of vessels or persons licensed for a particular fishery is provided.  If no recent information is available on the number of participants, then the number from the most recent LOF is used.  NMFS acknowledges that, in some cases, these estimations may be inflating actual effort.  

*Observer coverage levels include the latest information reported in the most current final Stock Assessment Report (SAR)

1 Indicates the stock or species is driving the classification of the fishery 

Note: Current classification based on final LOF, no proposed changes are reflected in this table.

Basis for Current Classification

Based on analogy to the Category II “CA halibut/white seabass and other species set gillnet (>3.5 in mesh)” fishery, which is classified as a Category II based on the level of serious injury or mortality of humpback whales (CA/OR/WA stock).  The fisheries operate in similar areas and similar seasons, thus it is reasonable that either fishery may cause serious injury or mortality of humpback whales.

Distribution

The fishery operates year-round, primarily south of Point Conception with some effort around San Clemente Island and San Nicolas Island. 

Gear Description

Small mesh drift gillnets are up to 6,000 ft (1,829 m) long and are set at the surface.  This is generally a night time fishery with nets usually set around sunset and hauled around sunrise.  The mesh size depends on target species and is typically 6.0-6.5 in (15-16.5 cm).  When targeting yellowtail and barracuda, the mesh size must be ≥3.5 in (9 cm); when targeting white seabass, the mesh size must be ≥6 in (15.2 cm).  From June 16 to March 14 not more than 20 percent, by number, of a load of fish may be white seabass with a total length of 28 in (71 cm).  A maximum of ten white seabass per load may be taken, if taken in gillnet or trammel nets with meshes from 3.5-6.0 in (9-15 cm) in length. 

Management

This fishery is a limited entry fishery with various gear restrictions and area closures managed by the CA Department of Fish and Game.  Targeting tuna with this type of gear was effectively prohibited in April, 2004, under the Pacific Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (HMS FMP).

Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) II (2003)
Original Number of Participants 24
Basis for Original Classification Based on analogy with other drift gillnet fisheries and the potential to entangle marine mammals.
Past Names CA yellowtail, barracuda, and white seabass drift gillnet (mesh size >3.5 in and < 14 in) (until 2008); CA yellowtail, barracuda, white seabass, and tuna drift gillnet (mesh size >3.5 in and < 14 in) (until 2007).
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list) N/A

 

Timeline of Changes

2011
  • Added a superscript “2” after to denote that this fishery is classified by analogy to the Category II “CA halibut/white seabass and other species set gillnet (>3.5 in mesh)” fishery.  The fisheries operate in similar areas and similar seasons, thus it is reasonable that either fishery may cause serious injury or mortality of humpback whales.
  • Removed superscript “1” after long-beaked common dolphins (CA) in the list of species/stocks killed injured in this fishery.  The level of mortality and serious injury of long-beaked common dolphins no longer exceeds 1% of the stock’s PBR.
  • Estimated number of participants reduced from 24 to 30.
2008
  • NMFS proposed to elevate this fishery to Category I based on observer documented interactions with long-beaked common dolphins (CA) in 2003-2004.  The draft 2007 SARs reported 17 documented takes, with the estimated annual mortality was 9 dolphins, or 82 % of PBR (PBR= 11).  However, during the public comment period for the draft 2007 SARs, errors in the observer coverage were found.  The correct levels of observer coverage for 2002, 2003, and 2004, were 11.5%, 10.4% and 17.6%, respectively.  Based upon these observer coverage levels, the revised mean annual serious injury or mortality of long-beaked common dolphins (CA) in this fishery is 4.7 animals/year, which is 43% of the stock’s PBR.  Therefore, this fishery remained classified as Category II.
  • Removed the superscript "2" after the fishery in the Table 1 on the LOF.  The fishery is no longer classified by analogy to other drift gillnet fisheries, but is classified based on takes of long-beaked common dolphins (CA).  Therefore, added a superscript "1" after long-beaked common dolphins (CA) indicating that takes of this stock are driving the classification of the fishery.
  • Renamed "CA yellowtail, barracuda, and white seabass drift gillnet (mesh size ≥3.5in. and < 14 in.)" to be consistent with the minimum mesh size allowed in this fishery as defined by the CA Fish and Game Code.
2007
  • Renamed from “CA yellowtail, barracuda, white seabass, and tuna drift gillnet (mesh size >3.5 in and < 14 in)” fishery to "CA yellowtail, barracuda, and white seabass drift gillnet (mesh size >3.5in. and < 14 in.)" fishery because targeting tuna with this type of drift gillnet was effectively prohibited in 2004 under the HMS FMP.
2006
  • Added a superscript “2” after this fishery in Table 1, indicating that the fishery is classified by analogy.

2005
  • Added CA sea lion (U.S.), long-beaked common dolphin (CA/OR/WA), and short-beaked common dolphin (CA/OR/WA).


 

Updated January 15, 2017