Archives for April 2016

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FR Notice – Fishing Restrictions for the Area of Overlap Between the Convention Areas of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission

SUMMARY: NMFS is issuing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement Recommendation C–12–11 of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) by revising the management regime for the area of overlapping jurisdiction between the IATTC and the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC). These regulations provide that the management measures of the IATTC no longer apply in the area of overlapping jurisdiction, with the exception of regulations governing the IATTC Regional Vessel Register. This rule is necessary for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC.

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FR Notice – Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Purse Seine Observer Requirements, and Fishing Restrictions and Limits in Purse Seine and Longline Fisheries for 2016-2017

SUMMARY: NMFS seeks comments on this proposed rule issued under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act). The proposed rule would, first, require that U.S. purse seine vessels carry observers on fishing trips in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO); second, establish restrictions in 2016 and 2017 on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) by U.S. purse seine vessels in the WCPO; and third, establish limits in 2016 and 2017 on the amount of bigeye tuna that may be captured by U.S. longline vessels in the WCPO. This action is necessary to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention), to which it is a Contracting Party.
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Fishery Data Collection & Research Committee -Technical Committee Meeting

Date: April 14 – 15, 2016
Location: Ala Moana Hotel, Honolulu, HI
Agenda
FR Notice
FDCRC Tech Comm 2016 meeting report

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Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team Meetings

Date: April 11 – 13, 2016          Time: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Ala Moana Hotel, Honolulu, HI
Agenda
FR Notice
Joint PT Meeting 2016 Draft Meeting Report

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Press Release – US Pacific Island Fishery Scientists to Review 2015 Fishery Performance

HONOLULU (7 April 2016) Fishery scientists from American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Hawaii will join NOAA scientists next week to review last year’s performance of federally managed fisheries in the Western Pacific Region. The scientists are members of the Plan Team of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, whose role is to assist the Council with its Fishery Ecosystem Plans (FEPs). The April 11 to 13 meeting will be held at the Ala Moana Hotel, 410 Atkinson Dr., Honolulu. The public is invited to participate and provide comments.
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Protected Species Advisory Committee Meeting

Date: April 7 – 8, 2016
Location: Council Office, Honolulu, HI
FR Notice
Agenda
Meeting Report

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FR Notice – Final Rule To List Eleven Distinct Population Segments of the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) as Endangered or Threatened and Revision of Current Listings Under the Endangered Species Act

SUMMARY: NMFS and USFWS issue a final rule to list 11 distinct population segments (DPSs) of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas; hereafter referred to as the green turtle) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Based on the best available scientific and commercial data, and after considering comments on the proposed rule, we have determined that three DPSs are endangered species and eight DPSs are threatened species. This rule supersedes the 1978 final listing rule for green turtles. It applies the existing protective regulations to the DPSs. Critical habitat is not determinable at this time but will be proposed in a future rulemaking. In the interim, the existing critical habitat designation (i.e., waters surrounding Culebra Island, Puerto Rico) remains in effect for the North Atlantic DPS.
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FR Notice – 2015-16 Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures; Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish

SUMMARY: NMFS specifies an annual catch limit (ACL) of 326,000 lb for Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for the 2015–16 fishing year. As an accountability measure (AM), if the ACL is projected to be reached, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish for the remainder of the fishing year. The ACL and AM specifications support the long-term sustainability of Hawaii bottomfish.
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Advisory Panel Applications available for American Samoa and Hawaii

Applications for the Council’s Advisory Panel Available

The Council is currently soliciting for an Advisory Panel member for American Samoa to be a part of its Island Fisheries subpanel.  The Council is also recruiting for alternate members for the American Samoa and Hawaii Advisory Panels as well.  Fishermen, members of fishery-related industries and individuals from fishery- or marine related organizations are invited to apply for membership to the Advisory Panel (AP) for the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.

The AP includes three panels that focus on the American Samoa Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP), Hawaii Archipelago and PRIA FEP, and Marianas Archipelago FEP.  Each of these panels will also deal with the Pelagics FEP as well.

Each of the FEP subpanels includes representatives from commercial fisheries, recreational fisheries, subsistence and indigenous fisheries, and ecosystems and habitat.

The AP includes representatives from American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam and Hawaii who meet the following selection criteria:

  • Present or recent activity in recreational, commercial or subsistence fishing;
  • Present or recent involvement in the buying, processing or marketing sectors of the fishing industry and/or involvement in conservation or management organizations, fishing clubs or other organized groups concerned with marine or fisheries issues;
  • Willingness to play an active role in fisheries management; and
  • Ability to dedicate time for fishery document review and participate in panel meetings.

AP members provide advice to the Council on all aspects of the region’s fisheries and suggest management strategies.

The AP terms are for four years and have started on Jan. 1, 2015.  Positions are voluntary (not paid).  However, members may be reimbursed for certain expenses related to their participation in meetings.

This year, applications are being accepted electronically and can be found at https://wpcouncil.wufoo.com/forms/20152018-advisory-panel-application/.  For those who may need other arrangements, please call the Council Office at (808) 522-8220 for assistance.  Completed applications must be received by the Council before May 31, 2016 to be considered for membership.

For more information, contact Joshua DeMello at the Council at Joshua.DeMello@noaa.gov or (808) 522-7493.

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Social Science Planning Committee Meeting

Date: April 1, 2016
Location: Council Office, Honolulu, HI
Agenda
FR Notice
SSPC Meeting Report