Press Releases

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Press Release – Federal Fishery Managers Recommend Removal of Bottomfish Restricted Fishing Areas in the Main Hawaiian Islands, Voice Concern about Billfish Conservation Act Proposed Amendments (16 March 2018)

HONOLULU (16 March 2018) The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council concluded its three-day meeting today with a variety of management measures and administrative decisions for federal fisheries in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the US Pacific Remote Islands Areas.
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Press Release – Federal Fishery Managers Postpone American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area Decision (16 March 2018)

HONOLULU (16 March 2018) The Western PacificRegional Fishery Management Council today in Honolulu delayed final action on an amendment to modify the American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area (LVPA) until its next meeting to be held June 11 to 14, 2018, on Maui. The amendment would reduce the size of the LVPA to US longline vessels in American Samoa. This fleet has been experiencing economic hardship due to declining catches and increased operating costs. The fleet operates within the US exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around American Samoa, which abuts the EEZs of other countries on all sides and thus is less than 200 nautical miles (nm) from shore. The LVPA currently restricts pelagic fishing vessels larger than 50 feet in length from operating within 50 nm of shore.
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Press Release – Federal Fishery Managers Agree to US Pacific Island Pelagic and Protected Species Measures (16 March 2018)

HONOLULU (16 March 2018) The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council yesterday in Honolulu agreed to a suite of management measures for pelagic fisheries and protected species in the US Pacific Islands operating seaward of State/Territory waters. The Council is mandated by Congress to manage federal fisheries of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the US Pacific Remote Island Areas. Recommendations by the Council are transmitted to the Secretary of Commerce for final approval. Among the actions taken by the Council, were the following:

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Press Release – Federal Managers Agree to a US Pacific Island Marine Aquaculture Management Program, Ecosystem Component Species Reclassification (15 March 2018)

HONOLULU (15 March 2018) The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council took initial action today in Honolulu to establish an aquaculture management program for the US exclusive economic zone (EEZ) waters (generally, 3 to 200 miles offshore) of the US Pacific Islands and to reclassify hundreds of species as ecosystem components.
The Council is mandated by Congress to manage federal fisheries of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the US Pacific Remote Island Areas. Recommendations by the Council are transmitted to the Secretary of Commerce for final approval.
“Supplementing the harvest of domestic fisheries with cultured product would help the United States meet consumers’ growing demand for seafood and may reduce the dependence on seafood imports,” notes Kitty M. Simonds, the Council’s executive director.

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PR – Scientists Provide Advice on Management of Sea Turtle, Bigeye Tuna and American Samoa Longline Fisheries (8 March 2018)

HONOLULU (8 March 2018) Renowned scientists from throughout the Pacific today concluded a three-day meeting in Honolulu to develop recommendations on managing fisheries in Hawai‘i, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the US Pacific Remote Islands Areas. Recommendations from the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council will be considered by the Council next week Wednesday through Friday at the Laniakea YWCA, Fuller Hall, 1040 Richards St., Honolulu. Fishermen and other members of the public are invited to attend the meeting and provide their comments and testimonies. Among the recommendations made by the SSC are the following:
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PR – Scientists to Advise on Management of US Pacific Island Fisheries (5 March 2018)

HONOLULU (5 March 2018) Renowned scientists from throughout the Pacific will convene in Honolulu tomorrow through Thursday to provide recommendations on managing fisheries in Hawai‘i, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the US Pacific Remote Islands Areas. The meeting of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) is open to the public and runs 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Council office, 1164 Bishop St., Suite1400. 
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Press Release – Federal Fishery Managers Take Initial Action on New American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area Amendment (Oct. 20, 2017)

UTULEI, AMERICAN SAMOA (20 October 2017) The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council today at the Rex Lee Auditorium in Utulei, American Samoa, took initial action on a new proposed amendment to the American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area (LVPA). The new proposal addresses a 2017 decision by the Federal District Court for the District of Hawai‘i regarding an LVPA amendment recommended by the Council in 2015 and published as a final rule in 2016 by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The court held that the 2016 final rule failed to consider the American Samoa Instruments of Cession as “other applicable law” and that cultural fishing rights are protected by inference in the Instruments.
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Press Release – Federal Fishery Managers to Ask American Samoa Government, Cannery to Act on Fishery Matters (Oct. 19, 2017)

UTULEI, AMERICAN SAMOA (19 October 2017) The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council yesterday at the Rex Lee Auditorium in Utulei, American Samoa, voted to undertake the following actions regarding American Samoa fisheries operating in federal waters (3 to 200 nautical miles offshore).
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Press Release – American Samoa Governor, NOAA Fisheries Deputy Assistant Administrator Recognize Importance of Fisheries to the Territory and Nation (Oct. 18, 2017)

Council family following awa ceremony presented by the American Samoa government to traditionally welcome the Council family to American Samoa prior to the opening of the 171st Council meeting.

UTULEI, AMERICAN SAMOA (18 October 2017) The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council opened its 171st meeting yesterday at the Rex Lee Auditorium in Utulei, American Samoa, with remarks from Gov. Lolo Moliga about the Territory’s fisheries followed by remarks about the nation’s fisheries by Samuel Rauch III, NOAA Fisheries Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs.

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Press Release – Scientists Weigh-In on Management of US Pacific Island Fisheries

HONOLULU (16 October 2017) The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) concluded its three-day meeting Thursday in Lihue, Kauai, with a suite of recommendations on managing fisheries in Hawai‘i, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the US Pacific Remote Islands Areas. The Council will consider the recommendations from the SSC and its other advisory bodies at its 171st meeting to be held Oct. 17-19 in Utulei, American Samoa. The SSC recommendations on the major agenda items are as follows:
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