News and Updates

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FR Notice – List of Fisheries for 2018 (Feb. 7, 2018) (Final Rule)

SUMMARY: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its final List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2018, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The LOF for 2018 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. NMFS must classify each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level
of mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The classification of a fishery on the LOF determines whether participants in that fishery are subject to certain provisions of the MMPA, such as registration, observer coverage, and take reduction plan (TRP) requirements.

DATES: The applicability date of this final rule is March 9, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Chief, Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation Division, Office of Protected
Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

Click here for complete FR Notice

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FR Notice – 2018 Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Lobster Harvest Guideline (Jan. 23, 2018)

SUMMARY: NMFS establishes the annual harvest guideline for the commercial lobster fishery in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands for calendar year 2018 at zero lobsters.
DATES: January 23, 2018.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Harman, NMFS PIR Sustainable Fisheries, tel. 808–725–5170.
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FR Notice – Western Pacific Stock Assessment Review of the draft 2017 benchmark stock assessments for Guam coral reef fish (Jan. 18, 2018)

SUMMARY: NMFS and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a Western Pacific Stock Assessment Review (WPSAR) of the draft 2017 benchmark stock assessments for Guam coral reef fish.

DATES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for meeting dates, times, and daily agenda.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Council office, 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Seki, Director, NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), tel 808–725–5360.

Click here for complete FR Notice

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Western Pacific Region Status of the Fisheries 2016

Click PDF for printable version

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Fall 2017 Pacific Island Fishery News

Click here for printable PDF version

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2018 Marine Education and Training (MET) Mini Grant Program

The 2018 Marine Education and Training Mini Grant Program is now accepting applications through February 21, 2018.  Please share with others that may be interested.

Federal Funding Opportunity: NOAA-NMFS-PIRO-2018-2005476

Due Date: Proposals must be received by http://www.Grants.gov, postmarked, or provided to a delivery service by 5:00 p.m., Hawaii Standard Time, on February 21, 2018.
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Request for Proposals: Developing a Framework for Understanding Ecosystem Factors Influencing Protected Species Interaction Patterns in the Hawaii and American Samoa Longline Fisheries (Case Study using Olive Ridley and Leatherback Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii Deep-set Longline Fishery)

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, in coordination with the NMFS Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center and Pacific Islands Regional Office, is soliciting proposals for a contractor to develop a framework to understand ecosystem factors influencing patterns in interaction with sea turtles, marine mammals, seabirds, and protected elasmobranchs in the Hawaii longline fisheries, using olive ridley and leatherback turtle interactions in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery as a case study.

Proposals must be submitted and received at the Council office by Friday, January 19, 2018 at 5pm Hawaii Standard Time.

The contract will run for a 12-month period starting in late February or early March 2018.

Please see the full RFP for details on the scope of work, proposal requirements, and submission guidelines.

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FR Notice – 2017 Purse Seine FAD Fishery Closure (Dec. 13, 2017)

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

ACTION: Temporary rule; fishery closure.

SUMMARY: NMFS announces that U.S. purse seine vessels will be prohibited from fishing on fish aggregating devices (FADs) 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) in the area between the latitudes of 20° N.  and 20° S., as a result of reaching the 2017 limit on FAD sets. This action is taken to enable the United States to implement provisions of a conservation and management measure adopted by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC or Commission) and to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention, to which it is a Contracting Party.

DATES: Effective 00:00 on December 24, 2017, universal time coordinated (UTC), until 24:00 on December 31, 2017 UTC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rini Ghosh, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office, 808–725–5033.

Click here for complete FR Notice

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FR Notice – 2017 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Bigeye Tuna Fishery; Closure (Nov. 30, 2017)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Temporary rule; closure.

SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean because the fishery will reach the 2017 allocation limit for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). This action is necessary to comply with regulations managing this fish stock.

DATES: Effective 12:01 a.m. local time December 6, 2017, through December 31, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jarad Makaiau, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808–725–5176.

Click here for complete FR Notice

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2018-2019 US Pacific Territories Fishery Capacity-Building Scholarship Announcement (Application due by Feb. 28, 2018)

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and its Education Committee members are pleased to announce the availability of up to three scholarships for academic year 2018-2019. These scholarships support the aspiration of American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to build their capacity to effectively manage their fisheries and related resources through employment of their own people.
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