Exempted fisheries typically occur when, in order to gather needed data, an experiment must be conducted using gear or methods that would otherwise be prohibited by existing regulations. An exempted fishing permit (EFP) is a permit issued by the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region to allow these otherwise prohibited fishing activities. These permits are issued for limited experimental purposes to support projects that could benefit the groundfish fisheries and the environment.
Groundfish Forum member companies have made significant contributions to benefit the Amendment 80 fisheries through the use of EFPs. Most recently, Groundfish Forum member companies in 2015 and 2016 participated in an EFP to greatly reduce halibut mortality in the Bering Sea through changes to fish handling procedures. The written reports for these EFPs and presentations to the NPFMC can be found here.