Data Collection and Annual Reports – – US Pacific Remote Islands

The largest volume of fish commercially harvested from the PRIA in recent times is pelagic fish caught by longliners home ported in Hawaii and tuna purse seiners home ported in American Samoa. Between 1991 and 2007, Hawaii longline vessels caught on average about 1.24 million lbs of fish from the US EEZ around Johnston, Kingman and Palmyra and Jarvis islands, with about 60 percent coming from the US EEZ around Kingman and Palmyra and most of the remainder from the US EEZ around Johnston. US purse seine vessels have fished in the US EEZ of the equatorial located PRIA between 1997 and 2007, with 25 percent of their total catch coming from the PRIA in 1997, mainly from the US EEZ around Howland and BakerIslands, when about 35,000 mt of fish was taken within the EEZ. More recently, purse seine tuna catches from the equatorial located PRIA have ranged from about 2 to 7 percent of the total catch, i.e., about 2,000 to 5000 mt.

Commercial data held by the State of Hawaii for the years 1988-2007 indicates that over this period a total of 51,740 lbs non-longline caught pelagic fish, and 19,095 lbs of bottomfish and reef fish were caught at Palmyra, Kingman Reef and JohnstonIsland. This is equivalent to 1,293 lbs/year non-longline pelagic fish and 477 lbs/year of bottomfish and reef fish. Currently, about 11 fishermen hold permits to harvest troll and handline pelagic fish in the PRIA, though none have been active in recent years.