Regulations & Management

Unit stocks in the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan are classified under the following management categories: actively managed, monitored, and prohibited harvest species.

Management Category Common Name Scientific Name
Actively Managed Pacific Sardine Sardinops sagax
  Pacific (chub) mackerel    Scomber japonicas
Monitored     Northern Anchovy  
(Central and Northern subpopulations)
Engraulis mordax
  Market squid Loligo opalescens (now known as Doryteuthis opalescens)
  Jack mackerel Trachurus symmetricus
Prohibited Harvest Krill or Euphausiids
All West Coast EEZ Species
Eight Dominant species
First 2 species are common and are most vulnerable to fishing
Euphausia pacifica
Thysanoessa spinifera
Nyctiphanes simplex
Nematocelis difficilis
Thyanoessa gregaria
Euphausia recurva
Euphausia gibboides
Euphausia eximia


The Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan includes a management frame work designed to react quickly to changes in the fisheries and stocks, with the Fishery Management council's Coastal Pelagic Management Team ( CPSMT) providing advice on the classification changes in accordance with fishery and stock dynamics. The purpose of active and monitored management is to use available agency resources in the most efficient and effective manner while satisfying goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan. The distinction enables mangers and scientists to concentrate efforts on stocks and segments of the CPS fishery that need greatest attention or where the most significant benefits might be expected. Active management may be characterized by periodic stock assessments or adjustments of target harvest levels. Monitored managements, in contrast involves tracking landing against respective annual catch limits and qualitative comparison to available abundance data, but without periodic stock assessments, or likely annual adjustments to target harvest levels. Species in both categories may be subject to management measures such as catch allocation, gear regulations, closed areas, closed seasons, or other forms of active management.

Under the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan, the CPS fishery is administratively divided into a "limited entry" fishery (requiring federal permits in order to a participate) south of 39° N latitude (Pt Arena, California) and an "open access" fishery ( not requiring federal permits) north of 39° N latitude.  However, Oregon and Washington both have specific restrictions limiting the number of vessels in their respective fisheries.

Under the annual management cycle for CPS, every June a SAFE document is presented to the Pacific Fishery Management Council, along with the current stock assessment for Pacific mackerel.  At the June meeting, the Council adopts a harvest guideline for the fishery, which runs from July 1 through June 30. In November, as a supplement to the SAFE document, the current stock assessment for Pacific sardine is presented to the Council and adopts a harvest guideline for the January 1 through December 31 fishery. However, this structure is likely to change with the Pacific sardine fishery changing to a July 1 through June 30 fishing year.  Detailed information on CPS fishery statistics, management history, harvest policy and economics can be found in the SAFE Document.

Closure of directed non-tribal commercial fishing for Pacific sardine for the fishing season of July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017

Pacific Mackerel specifications - July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017

For more information contact on Coastal Pelagic Species, contact Joshua Lindsay at or 562.980.4034.
For more information or questions on Permits, contact our Permits Coordinator at 562.980.4238.