The PWCC Home Page

CURRENT NEWS:

·         Pacific whiting featured on the new National Marine Fisheries Service seafood information page FishWatch

·         Pacific whiting fishery receives MSC certification

·         PWCC featured in Environmental Defense Fund's Catch Share Design Center

·         NMFS profiles the PWCC in the document -- Design and Use of Limited Access Privilege Programs

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 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 14–15, 2012 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 recommends a coastwide TAC of 192,746 metric tons (mt) for 2012.  Based on Article III 2. of the Agreement, the Canadian share of the coastwide TAC is 26.12 percent, or 50,345 mt, and the U.S. share is 73.88 percent, or 142,401 mt.  Consistent with Article II 5.(b) of the Agreement, an adjustment (carryover from 2011) of 15,427 mt is added to the Canadian share, for an adjusted Canadian TAC of 65,772.  In the same manner, an adjustment of 43,636 mt is added to the United States share, for an adjusted United States TAC of 186,037 mt.  This results in a coastwide adjusted TAC of 251,809 mt for 2012, 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.

Based on the advice of the JTC, SRG and AP, and pending available resources, the JMC also recommends the Parties' approval of a 2012 acoustic survey.  A 2012 survey will help address the uncertainty surrounding current stock size and age structure.  The JMC also suggests that the Parties consider implementation of a hydroacoustic survey on an annual basis.

The JMC also recommends that a workplan for a Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) process be developed for the next meeting of the JMC, scheduled for May 29-30,2012. Evaluation of the benefits of an annual survey should be included as a consideration relative to the MSE.

Conservation of the Pacific whiting resource and associated species is paramount to the PWCC.  Since 1999, the PWCC has conducted an annual survey of juvenile Pacific whiting off the west coast to help estimate the future abundance of the resource.  This survey is a cooperative effort between the PWCC and the NMFS-Northwest Fisheries Science Center.   In recent years, the survey has also been conducted in coordination with the NMFS-Southwest Fisheries Science Center's juvenile rockfish survey.  This collaborative research provides the only index of abundance for West Coast juvenile rockfish and whiting, and has become a key component of west coast groundfsh stock assessments.

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.”

 

Updated August 21, 2012