Press Releases

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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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Press Release – Scientists to Advise on Management of US Pacific Island Fisheries

HONOLULU (6 October 2017) Renowned scientists from throughout the Pacific will convene in Lihue, Kauai, from Oct. 10 to 12 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 Aqua Beach Hotel, 4331 Kauai Beach Dr.
The American Samoa longline fleet, which supplies the local tuna cannery, has confronted years of economic hardship. Consideration will be given to alleviate the problem by opening up portions of the Large Vessel Prohibited Area. Photo by Sylvia Spalding

The Council will consider the recommendations from the SSC and its other advisory bodies at its 171st meeting to be held Oct. 17-19in Utulei, American Samoa. The major agenda items include the following:

American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area (LVPA) options: Consideration will be given to an exemption that would allow US-flag longline vessels over 50 feet in length to fish within portions of the LVPA and that takes into account the needs of cultural fishing practices.

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PR – Scientists to Advise on Marine Monument Fishing Regulations, American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area, Kona Crabs, Annual Catch Limits (8 June 2017)

HONOLULU (8 June 2017) Renowned scientists from throughout the Pacific will convene in Honolulu June 13 to 15 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 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400. Major agenda items include the following:
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Federal Management Efforts Support Commercial, Subsistence and Cultural Fisheries
 in the US Pacific Island (3/24/2017)

HONOLULU (24 March 2017) A bill introduced in the US Senate in mid-February to amend the

Hawaii average annual revenue from commercial billfish landings (not including swordfish), 2011-2015. Source: 2015 Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries Stock Assessment and Evaluation Report. www.wpcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/2017-01-31_Final-2015-SAFE-Report.pdf

Billfish Conservation Act of 2012 would negatively impact Hawaii’s commercial fisheries. It is generally estimated that 20 percent of Hawaii billfish catch (about 550,000 pounds) is sold to US mainland seafood markets annually at a worth of approximately $600,000 in landed, wholesale revenue. The existing law allows billfish landed by US fishing vessels in Hawaii and the US Pacific territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands to be sold in markets on the US mainland. The proposed amendment would prohibit it. The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, during its 169th meeting this week in Honolulu, voiced concerns about the proposed legislation and will provide information to the Secretary of Commerce on the stock status of Pacific billfish and the economic impact of the introduced amendment. The Council noted that US mainland sport fishing tournaments target billfish and requested information from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on the estimated number of billfish killed in these US mainland tournaments and whether or not the billfish retained goes to local consumption.
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Federal Managers Seek to Retain US Fishery Access to US Waters (3/23/2017)

HONOLULU (23 March 2017) The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council concluded its three- day meeting in Honolulu today with a suite of recommendations, many of which are focused on keeping US fishing grounds open to sustainably managed US fisheries. The Council includes the local fishery department directors from Hawai‘i, American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), fishing experts appointed by the Governors and federal agencies involved in fishing-related activities.
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Federal Managers to Consider Regulating Fisheries in the Expanded NWHI Marine Monument, Designating Thousands of Species as Ecosystem Components (3/20/2017)

HONOLULU (20 March 2017) Developing new fishing regulations for the expanded marine national monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) and identifying marine species to be federally managed as components of the ecosystem are two key issues to be addressed at the 169th meeting of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. The meeting runs tomorrow through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Honolulu and is open to the public. The Council includes the local fishery department directors from Hawai’i, American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), fishing experts appointed by the Governors and federal agencies involved in fishing-related activities.

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