Archives for January 2015


Council Makes Good on Its Commitments: A Review of 2014

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is committed to giving people a voice in the decisions that are made regarding fishery management, to supporting the fishing industry and the livelihood and culture of fishermen, to preventing overfishing and protecting the ocean’s ecosystem, and to providing consultation and recommendations as required by law.

In 2014, our participatory bottom-up process ranged from work with the Village of Malesso (Merizo), Guam, to develop a community-based fishery management plan; to assisting the `Aha Moku o Maui to convene a Puwalu of the `Aha Moku island councils throughout the Hawaiian archipelago; to listening to fishermen’s views at Council meetings, Fishers Forums and various advisory group and community meetings, which led to the setting of the 2015 annual catch limits and ongoing efforts to better address noncommercial fishing and improve management of `ahi, striped marlin and bottomfish, including the reopening of some of Hawai`i’s bottomfish restricted fishing areas.

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Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; National Standard Guidelines FR Notice

Complete FR Notice here

NMFS proposes revisions to the guidelines for National Standards (NS) 1, 3, and 7 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and to the General section of the NS guidelines. This action is necessary to improve and clarify the guidance within the NS guidelines. The purpose of this action is to facilitate compliance with requirements of the MSA to end and prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks and achieve optimum yield (OY).

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before June 30, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2012–0059, by any of the following methods:

• Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to:!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0059, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

• Mail: Submit written comments to

Wesley Patrick
National Marine Fisheries Service
NOAA, Office of Sustainable Fisheries
1315 East-West Highway, Room 13357
Silver Spring, MD 20910.

• Fax: 301–713–1193; Attn: Wesley Patrick.


Ahi: The Yellowfin Tuna Documentary Premiere on KGMB Saturday, 2/7

We invite you to watch this video and learn more about why state and federal fishery managers are reviewing the minimum size for commercial `ahi.

Ahi, the Yellowfin Tuna: Managing our Fisheries premieres on KGMB February 7th at 6pm.

To view 30-second trailer, click here.


Nation’s Fishery Scientists Tackle Climate, Ecosystem and Other Uncertainty Issues

HONOLULU (25 February 2015) Scientists from throughout the United States gathered Feb. 23 to 25, 2015, in Honolulu to explore ways of incorporating climate, ecosystems and other of areas uncertainty into the sustainable  management of the nation’s fisheries. The scientists included 40 representatives from the Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC) of the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils (RFMCs), established by Congress in 1976 to manage fisheries operating in the US exclusive economic zone, as well as a dozen fishery experts providing keynote presentations. This week’s public meeting was the fifth gathering of the National SSC. The meeting was hosted by the Western Pacific RFMC, which is based in Honolulu and whose jurisdiction includes Hawai`i, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and eight remote islands in the Pacific. Findings from the meeting will be forwarded to the Councils Coordination Committee, a group of the leadership from the eight RFMCs, which is scheduled to meet June 22 to 25, 2015, in Key West, Fla.
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Nominations for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Permanent Advisory Committee (WCPFC PAC) FR Notice

To view FR notice, click here


Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument Expansion Proposed Rule Request for Comments FR

To view FR Notice, click here


2015 National Scientific and Statistical Committee Workshop

Date: February 23 – 25, 2015
Location: Ala Moana Hotel, Honolulu, HI
FR Notice
Terms of Reference and Trigger Questions
2015 National SSC Meeting Report


1.a.1. Haddon Managing data poor fisheries

1.a.2. Thorson Progress and roadblocks in the estimation of stock status and catch limits for global fisheries

1.b.1. Methot National Standard 2 in determining best scientific information available

2.a. Schwaab Addressing uncertainties in a variable environment

2.b. Punt Use of MSE to assess performance of harvest control rules-Secured

2.c. Wilberg Comparing performance among alternative ABC control rules

3.a.1. Polovina Incorporating ecological, environmental and climate considerations in stock assessments and EBFM

3.a.2. Hollowed Projecting climate change impacts on fish and fisheries

3.a.3. Hare Shifting species distribution with climate change

3.b.1. Noji Habitat assessement improvement plan enhancing stock assessments

3.b.2. Manderson Aspects of Habitat of Particular Concern for fish population dynamics and fishery management


NMFS Solicits Input on Developing Take Prohibition Regulations for Newly Listed Coral Species

On January 13, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking for developing take prohibition regulations for coral species listed as threatened  under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in September 2014.

Species listed by NMFS as threatened do not automatically receive protective regulations. The newly listed coral species (6 occurring in American Samoa, 3 in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and none in Hawaii) currently do not have any take prohibitions applied, meaning that take (defined under the ESA as “to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct”) is not a violation under the ESA at this time.

NMFS is now considering whether take prohibition is necessary and advisable for the conservation of the newly listed coral species. Under section 4(d) of the ESA, NMFS has flexibility to tailor protective regulations based on the contributions of other existing conservation measures, and regulations may prohibit some or all of the activities that constitute as take.

NMFS is soliciting public input to help determine what, if any, protective regulations are necessary and advisable, including information that will help understand and analyze impacts of various activities, the existence and efficacy of ongoing conservation activities, and prohibitions that are both necessary and advisable to reduce threats. Specific information solicited includes:

  1. Current or planned activities within the range of these species and their possible impact on these species;
  2. Impacts within the species’ ranges that fall within any of the nine major threat categories (Ocean warming, disease, ocean acidification, sea-level rise, nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, predation, trophic effects of fishing, and collection and trade);
  3. Information on which of the ESA section 9(a)(1) prohibitions on take are necessary and advisable for the conservation of these species, with associated justification;
  4. Specific activities that should be prohibited for the conservation of the 20 coral species, with associated justification;
  5. Specific activities that should be excepted from any prohibitions that may be applied because they either provide a conservation benefit or do not detract from the conservation of these species, with associated justification;
  6. Existing permitting programs that may already provide for the conservation of listed corals through their activity evaluation and permitting process, with associated justification; and
  7. Economic costs and benefits likely to result from protective regulations.

To submit comments and to learn more about this announcement, read the Federal Register Notice here .

To learn more about the listed corals, visit the NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office website at:


The Winter 2015 issue of the Pacific Islands Fishery Newsletter is here! Click on the image below to read online.

Want to print? But do not have an ISSUU account? Click here to open a printable pdf version of the newsletter.


Winter 2015 issue of the Pacific Islands Fishery Newsletter

The Winter 2015 issue of the Pacific Islands Fishery Newsletter is here! Click on the image below to read online.