Welcome to the Pacific Whiting Conservation Cooperative’s (PWCC) website. Our site provides information about PWCC and our member companies [About PWCC], and the Pacific whiting fishery [Fishery]. Detailed information about research projects [Research] and bycatch avoidance initiatives [Catch Management] sponsored by PWCC is also provided.
The PWCC is a trade association representing three companies that own and operate 10 U.S.-flag catcher/processor vessels that participate in the west coast Pacific whiting fishery. By weight, this abundant, well-managed groundfish fishery accounts for the largest volume of fish harvested on the U.S. west coast each year. Fishery managers and scientists employ a precautionary approach to management to ensure healthy fish stocks for years to come.
· Learn more about Pacific whiting at the NMFS seafood information page FishWatch.
· Pacific whiting fishery receives MSC certification.
The Pacific whiting fishery in U.S. and Canadian waters is governed by the Pacific Hake Agreement. The Hake Agreement became law on January 12, 2007 when President Bush signed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006. The U.S. and Canada are currently implementing provisions of the Hake Agreement, including appointments to various technical, management, and advisory committees. During the implementation phase, the whiting fishery is being managed in accordance with provisions in the Agreement, most notably the harvest sharing framework that allocates 73.88% of the annual harvest to U.S. fisheries and 26.12% to Canadian fisheries.
At its March 2014 meeting, consistent with Article II 3.(e) of theHake Agreement, and after reviewing the advice of the Joint Technical Committee (JTC), the Scientific Review Group (SRG), and the Advisory Panel (AP), the JMC recommended a coastwide TAC of 377,570 metric tons (mt) for 2014. Based on Article III 2. of the Agreement, the Canadian share of the coastwide TAC is 26.12 percent, or 98,621 mt; and the U.S. share is 73.88 percent, or 278,949 mt. Consistent with Article II 5.(b) of the Agreement, an adjustment (carryover from 2011) of 13,172 mt is added to the Canadian share, for an adjusted Canadian TAC of 111,793 mt. In the same manner, an adjustment of 37,258 mt is added to the United States share, for an adjusted United States TAC of 316,207 mt. This results in a coastwide adjusted TAC of 428,000 mt for 2014, which is consistent with the default harvest rate of F-40 percent with a 40/10 adjustment identified in Article III 1. of the Agreement.
Conservation of the Pacific whiting resource and associated species is paramount to the PWCC. As partners in these robust fisheries, the PWCC works with fishery managers, scientists, environmentalists, and other industry members to ensure the continued health and sustainability of our marine resources.
In the U.S., the whiting fishery is managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), specifically the NMFS-Northwest Region and the NMFS-Northwest Fisheries Science Center including the West Coast Groundfish Observer Program.
Recently, Pacific whiting was featured on the new NMFS seafood information page FishWatch. The NMFS FishWatch site provides consumers “the most accurate and timely information available on the sustainability of U.S. seafood fisheries.” In addition to stock status and fishery management information, the site also provides nutritional and other information for consumers to consider when making seafood choices. NMFS states – “Population levels of Pacific whiting are high, and no overfishing is occurring.” “Biomass of the coastal stock is 80% of the biomass needed to support maximum sustainable yield.” “There are few habitat concerns in the Pacific whiting fishery, given that pelagic trawls have very little bottom habitat impact.” “Whiting is a good source of selenium, vitamin B, magnesium, and protein.”