Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Protected Species Reports

Some marine species are protected by federal laws and regulations (e.g., Endangered Species Act (ESA), Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)). Observers collect protected species data to estimate bycatch or takes of these species. Protected species groups encountered by observed vessels include marine mammals, sea turtles, sea birds, green sturgeon, eulachon and salmon. Bycatch/take estimates are provided in units of individuals, rather than weight, for the purposes of protected species management and assessment. The impacts of fishery management on protected species bycatch can be found at the following websites: The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site NOAA’s Northwest Region and The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Summaries of marine mammals, seabird and sea turtle interactions and bycatch/take estimates are published annually in a single report (see below) that includes all for observed sectors.

Under the ESA, distinct population segments (evolutionarily significant units) of many Pacific salmon species (chinook, coho, pink, sockeye and chum) are listed as endangered or threatened. Therefore, accurate reporting of salmon bycatch estimates is important in determining overall mortality and managing the recovery of these populations. Salmon bycatch estimates from WCGOP observations can be found in the annual report (see below).

Two additional fish species are listed under the Endangered Species Act: the southern distinct population segments of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) and eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus).

Tables of observed bycatch for these protected species are published annually, and fleet-wide expanded bycatch estimates for these species are published biennially (see below).

Observed Bycatch of Protected Species

Marine Mammal, Seabird, Sea Turtle observed bycatch (2002-2014) (pdf) (xlsx)
Eulachon observed bycatch (2002-2014)
Green sturgeon observed bycatch (2002-2014)

Biennial Reports on Protected Species

A number of reports were created in response to the 2012 National Marine Fisheries Science (NMFS) Biological Opinion on Continuing Operation of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery, to document bycatch and fishing effort in the West Coast Groundfish Fisheries.

The most recent reports can be found in Agenda Item F.5 of the April 2017 Briefing Book, at the The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Pacific Fisheries Management Council website

Eguchi, T., C. Fahy, J. Jannot, K. Somers, and E. Ward. 2017. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site 2016 Leatherback sea turtle estimated bycatch reporting requirements as set out in the NMFS Biological Opinion for the continuing authorization of the Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. National Marine Fisheries Service, SWFSC, La Jolla, CA 92039.

Good, T. P., E. Ward, J. Jannot, R. Shama, N. Riley, and J. McVeigh. 2017. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Observed and Estimated Bycatch of Short-tailed Albatross in U.S. West Coast Groundfish Fisheries 2014-2015. National Marine Fisheries Service, NWFSC, 2725 Montlake Blvd E., Seattle, WA 98112.

Gustafson, R., Y.-W. Lee, E. Ward, K. Somers, V. Tuttle, J. Jannot, and J. McVeigh. 2017. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Observed and Estimated Bycatch of Eulachon in 2002–2015 US West Coast Groundfish Fisheries. National Marine Fisheries Service, NWFSC, 2725 Montlake Blvd E., Seattle, WA 98112.

Hanson, B., T.P. Good, J. Jannot, and J. McVeigh. 2017. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Humpback whale bycatch in the 2014-2015 U.S. West Coast Groundfish Fisheries. National Marine Fisheries Service, NWFSC, 2725 Montlake Blvd E., Seattle, WA 98112.

Lee, Y.-W., R. Gustafson, J. Jannot, J. McVeigh, N. Riley, K. Somers, V. Tuttle, S. Wang, and E. Ward. 2017. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Observed and Estimated Bycatch of Green Sturgeon in 2002–2013 US West Coast Groundfish Fisheries. National Marine Fisheries Service, NWFSC, 2725 Montlake Blvd E., Seattle, WA 98112.

Somers, K. A., Y.-W. Lee, J.E. Jannot, C.E. Whitmire, V.J. Tuttle, and J.T. McVeigh. 2017. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Fishing Effort in the 2002-2015 U.S. Pacific Coast Groundfish Fisheries. West Coast Groundfish Observer Program. National Marine Fisheries Service, NWFSC, 2725 Montlake Blvd E., Seattle, WA 98112.

Reports detailing earlier years of data can be found in The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Agenda Item D.4 of June 2015 Briefing Book, at the Pacific Fisheries Management Council website

Eguchi, T., R. Bjorkland, C. Fahy, J. Jannot, T. Mitchell, K. Somers, E. Ward, B. Whiteside. 2015. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site 2014 Reporting requirements as set out in the NMFS Biological Opinion- Leatherback sea turtles for the continuing authorization of the Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. National Marine Fisheries Service, SWFSC, La Jolla, CA 92039.

Good, T. P., V. Tuttle, J. Jannot, R. Shama, N. Riley, J. McVeigh. 2015. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Observed and Estimated Bycatch of Short-tailed Albatross in U.S. West Coast Groundfish Fisheries 2010-2013. National Marine Fisheries Service, NWFSC, 2725 Montlake Blvd E., Seattle, WA 98112.

Gustafson, R., Y.-W. Lee, E. Ward, K. Somers,V. Tuttle, J. Jannot. 2015. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Observed and Estimated Bycatch of Eulachon in 2002–2013 US West Coast Groundfish Fisheries. National Marine Fisheries Service, NWFSC, 2725 Montlake Blvd E., Seattle, WA 98112.

Hanson, B., T.P. Good, J. Jannot and J. McVeigh. 2015. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Humpback whale bycatch in the 2010-2013 U.S. West Coast Groundfish Fisheries. National Marine Fisheries Service, NWFSC, 2725 Montlake Blvd E., Seattle, WA 98112.

Lee, Y.-W., R. Gustafson, J. Jannot, J. McVeigh, N. Riley, K. Somers, V. Tuttle, S. Wang, E. Ward. 2015. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Observed and Estimated Bycatch of Green Sturgeon in 2002–2013 US West Coast Groundfish Fisheries. National Marine Fisheries Service, NWFSC, 2725 Montlake Blvd E., Seattle, WA 98112.

Somers, K.A., J.E. Jannot, J. Hastie, Y.-W. Lee, J.McVeigh, C.E. Whitmire. 2015. The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Fishing Effort in the 2002-2013 U.S. Pacific Coast Groundfish Fisheries. West Coast Groundfish Observer Program. National Marine Fisheries Service, NWFSC, 2725 Montlake Blvd E., Seattle, WA 98112.

Marine Mammals, Seabirds and Sea Turtles

Year of data Year of release Description Format
2002-2009 Mar-11 Estimated Bycatch of Marine Mammals, Seabirds, and Sea Turtles in the US West Coast Commercial Groundfish Fishery, 2002-2009 full report (pdf)
2002-2008 Feb-10 Estimated Bycatch of Marine Mammals, Seabirds, and Sea Turtles in the 2002-2008 US West Coast Commercial Groundfish Fishery full report (pdf)
2002-2006 Jul-08 Marine Mammal and Seabird Bycatch Report full report (pdf)


Salmon

Year of data Year of release Description Format
2002-2015May 2017Observed and estimated total bycatch of salmon in the 2002-2015 U.S. west coast fisheries report tables (xls)
2002-2013Feb-15Observed and estimated total bycatch of salmon in the 2002-2013 U.S. west coast fisheries full report (pdf)

report tables (xls)
2002-2010 Mar-12 Observed and Estimated Total Bycatch of Salmon in the 2002-2010 US West Coast Groundfish Fisheries full report (pdf)
2009 Jan-11 Observed and Estimated Total Bycatch of Salmon in the 2009 US West Coast Groundfish Fisheries full report (pdf)
2008 Feb-10 Observed and Estimated Total Bycatch of Salmon in the 2008 US West Coast Groundfish Fisheries full report (pdf)
2007 Mar-09 Observed and Estimated Total Bycatch of Salmon in the 2007 US West Coast Groundfish Fisheries full report (pdf)


Green Sturgeon and/or Eulachon

Year of data Year of release Description Format
2002-2010 Jan-12 Observed and Estimated Total Bycatch of Green Sturgeon and Eulachon in the 2002-2010 US West Coast Fisheries full report (pdf)

report tables (xls)
2002-2008 Feb-10 Observed and Estimated Total Bycatch of Green Sturgeon in the 2002-2008 US West Coast Groundfish Fisheries full report (pdf)