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Spring 2018 Pacific Islands Fishery News

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IATTC – 9th Meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee

Date: May 14-18, 2018
Location: La Jolla, CA

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Pelagic Plan Team

Date: May 14-16, 2018          Time: 8:30 am to 5 pm
Location: Council Office, Honolulu

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Press Release – Closure of Swordfish Fishery Underscores Sea Turtle Management Success (May 11, 2018)

HONOLULU (11 May 2018) The Hawaii shallow-set longline fishery for swordfish has reached 33 of 34 allowed loggerhead sea turtle interactions for 2018 and was closed today by the National Marine Fisheries Service until Jan. 1, 2019, as a settlement agreement approved by the US District Court, District of Hawaii. Hawaii swordfish is landed and shipped fresh, ice-chilled and not frozen, with the primary market being the continental United States. Hawaii produces half of the US domestic swordfish.

“The record of 99 percent live releases, only two mortalities in 24 years and increasing loggerhead abundance over the past two decades underscore the management success of the Hawaii shallow-set longline fishery,” notes Kitty M. Simonds, executive director of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.
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FR Notice – Pacific Island Fisheries; Closure of the 2018 Hawaii Shallow-Set Longline Fishery; Court Order (May 11, 2018)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Temporary rule; fishery closure.

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SUMMARY: This final rule closes the Hawaii shallow-set pelagic longline 
fishery in compliance with an order of the U.S. District Court for the 
District of Hawaii.

DATES: Effective May 8, 2018, through December 31, 2018.
    Compliance date: May 4, 2018, through December 31, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Harman, NMFS PIR, 808-725-5170.
 
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FR Notice – Restrictions on the Use of Fish Aggregating Devices in Purse Seine Fisheries, and Transshipment Prohibitions (May 10, 2018)

Action
Proposed rule; request for comments.

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 implement recent decisions of the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission). These decisions include the following management measures: limits on fishing effort by U.S. purse seine vessels in the U.S. exclusive economic zone and on the high seas between the latitudes of 20° N and 20° S in the area of application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention); restrictions regarding the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) for U.S. purse seine fishing vessels; limits on the catches of bigeye tuna by U.S. longline vessels in the Convention area; prohibitions on U.S. vessels used to fish for highly migratory species from engaging in transshipment in a particular area of the high seas (the Eastern High Seas Special Management Area or EHSSMA); and removal of existing reporting requirements for vessels transiting the EHSSMA. The rule also would make corrections to outdated cross references in existing regulatory text. This action is necessary to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention, to which it is a Contracting Party.

Dates

Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted in writing by May 25, 2018.
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FR Notice – 2018 Annual Determination To Implement the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement (May 10, 2018)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its final Annual Determination (AD) for 2018, pursuant to its authority under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Through the AD, NMFS identifies U.S. fisheries operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Ocean that will be required to take fisheries observers upon NMFS’ request. The purpose of observing identified fisheries is to learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate measures to prevent or reduce sea turtle takes and to implement the prohibition against sea turtle takes. Fisheries identified on the 2018 AD (see Table 1) will be eligible to carry observers as of the effective date of this rulemaking, and will remain on the AD for a five-year period until December 31, 2022.
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FDCRC-TC

Date: May 2-3, 2018          Time: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Location: Council Office, Honolulu
FR notice
Agenda

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Archipelagic Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team

Date: April 30 – May 1, 2018          time: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Council Office, Honolulu

FR notice
Agenda

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Summer 2018 Marine Science Course on Fishery and Resource Management

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