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Social, Economic, Ecological and Management Uncertainty Working Group

Date: Sept. 25, 2015  1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Council office, Honolulu, and by teleconference

Agenda
FR Notice

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Habitat Areas of Particular Concern Process Plan Team Working Group

Date: Sept. 2, 2015   1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Via webex and teleconference
FR Notice

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FR Notice – Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; Exemption for Large U.S. Longline Vessels To Fish in Portions of the American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to allow large federally permitted U.S. longline vessels to fish in certain areas of the Large Vessel Prohibited Area (LVPA) around Swains Island, Tutuila, and the Manua Islands. NMFS would continue to prohibit fishing in the LVPA by large purse seine vessels. The fishing requirements for the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument would remain unchanged. The intent of the proposed rule is to improve the viability of the American Samoa longline fishery and achieve optimum yield from the fishery while preventing overfishing, in accordance with National Standard 1.

To view complete FR notice, click here.

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Press Release – Majuro Workshop Explores Management Options for Pacific Bigeye Tuna Overfishing

MAJURO, REPUBLIC OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS (21 August 2015) A workshop to discuss bigeye tuna management in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) was convened by the Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority (MIMRA) and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (WPFMC) on Aug. 19-21, 2015, in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands. The workshop brought together representatives from Asian, U.S. and Pacific Island purse-seine and longline fishing industries, government officials of Pacific Island countries, and representatives from the Forum Fisheries Agency, Parties to the Nauru Agreement, Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and non-governmental organizations. The workshop was chaired by Andrew Wright, former executive director of the WCPFC.
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FR Notice – Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2015 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes a 2015 limit of 2,000 metric tons (mt) of longlinecaught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory (American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands). NMFS would allow each territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt each year to U.S. longline fishing vessels in a specified fishing agreement that meets established criteria. As an accountability measure, NMFS would monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary) catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna, including catches made under a specified fishing agreement. The proposed catch limits and accountability measures support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.

To view the complete FR Notice, click here.

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Press Release – Hawaii Longline Bigeye Fishery in the Western and Central Pacific Forced to Close

HONOLULU (29 July 2015) The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has announced that Hawaii longline vessels fishing in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) will no longer be able to retain and land bigeye tuna between August 5, 2015, and the end of the year. This is because the fishery has reached a bigeye catch limit of 3,502 metric tons (mt), established by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in 2014.
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FR Notice – WCPFC 2015 Bigeye Tuna Longline Fishery Closure

SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean as a result of the fishery reaching the 2015 catch limit. This action is necessary to prevent additional fishing pressure on this fish stock.

DATES: Effective August 5, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

To view the complete FR Notice, click here.

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FR Notice – International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits in Longline Fisheries for 2015

SUMMARY: NMFS issues regulations under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act) to establish a catch limit of 3,502 metric tons (mt) of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) for vessels in the U.S. pelagic longline fisheries operating in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) for calendar year 2015. The limit does not apply to vessels in the longline fisheries of American Samoa, Guam, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Once the limit of 3,502 mt is reached in 2015, retaining, transshipping, or landing bigeye tuna caught 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), which comprises the majority of the WCPO, will be prohibited for the remainder of the calendar year, with certain exceptions. This action is necessary for the United States to satisfy its obligations under the Convention, to which it is a Contracting Party.

To view the complete FR Notice, click here.

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FR Notice – International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Effort and Catch Limits and Other Restrictions and Requirements

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes and seeks comments on a proposed rule and proposed specifications to be issued under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act). The proposed rule would establish a framework under which NMFS would specify limits on fishing effort and catches, as well as spatial and temporal restrictions on particular fishing activities and other requirements, in U.S. fisheries for highly migratory fish species in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). NMFS would issue the specifications as needed to implement conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission for the 
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FR Notice – 2015 Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes annual catch limits (ACLs) for Pacific Island bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, and coral reef ecosystem fisheries, and accountability measures (AMs) to correct or mitigate any overages of catch limits. The proposed ACLs and AMs would be effective in fishing year 2015. The fishing year for each fishery begins on January 1 and ends on December 31, except for precious coral fisheries, which begins July 1 and ends on June 30 the following year. The proposed catch limits and accountability measures support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.

To view the complete FR Notice, click here.