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Regulations and Enforcement – US Pacific Remote Islands

The Pacific Remote Island Area (PRIA) includes the following islands and atolls:  Howland, Baker, Jarvis, Wake Islands, Kingman Reef, and Palmyra and Johnston Atolls. In the PRIA, federal jurisdiction extends 200 miles seaward from the shoreline. The US Pacific Remote Islands Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) was developed by the Council and incorporates all of the management provisions of four existing fishery management plans (FMPs)—the Bottomfish and Seamount Groundfish FMP, the Crustaceans FMP, the Precious Corals FMP and the Coral Reef Ecosystems FMP—that are applicable to the US Pacific Remote Islands Archipelago. The PRIA FEP includes regulations establishing marine management zones, protected species provisions and permit and reporting requirements that all foster data collection, monitoring and enforcement in this remote region.  Although pelagic fishery resources play an important role in the biological as well as the socioeconomic environment of the US Pacific Remote Islands Archipelago, they are managed separately through the Pacific Pelagic FEP.

The following is a summary of federal regulations pertaining to the following fisheries. For the full list of federal fishing regulations applicable to the PRIA, click here.

For regulations pertaining to the PRIA National Wildlife Monument, click here.

NOAA Fisheries Pacific Island Regional Office have compiled multiple compliance guides that are designed to provide information on current regulations that affect fishing around the Western Pacific. PDF copies of the compliance guides can be found at here.  Compliance guides are updated often, so check regularly for updates.

NOAA published a “Fishing in the Marianas Trench, Pacific Remote Islands, and Rose Atoll Marine National Monuments” Compliance guide in July 2014, click here for pdf.  The compliance guide gives the regulations on how to comply with the requirements for fishing within the monuments.

 BOTTOMFISH

• Federal permit and logbook reporting

• Ban on use of bottom trawls and bottom set gillnets

• Ban on possession or use of any poisons, explosives or intoxicating substances to harvest bottomfish or seamount Groundfish

• Ban on fishing for bottomfish MUS landward of 50 fathom curve at Jarvis, Howland, and BakerIslands, and Kingman Reef

 

CRUSTACEANS

• Federal permit and logbook reporting

• Notification before port landing and before offloading

• Observer coverage when requested by National Marine Fisheries Service

• Ban on fishing for crustacean MUS landward of 50 fathom curve at Jarvis, Howland, and BakerIslands, and Kingman Reef

 

PRECIOUS CORALS

• Federal permit and logbook reporting

• Use of only selective gear that can discriminate or differentiate between type, size, quality or characteristics of living or dead corals

• Quota of 1,000 kg for all species combined (except black coral)

• Minimum height 10 inches for live pink coral

• Minimum stem diameter 1 inch or minimum height 48 inches for live black coral

• Moratorium on gold coral 2008 to 2013

• Ban on fishing for precious coral MUS landward of 50 fathom curve at Jarvis, Howland, and BakerIslands, and Kingman Reef

 

CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEM

• Special permit, reporting and pre-landing notification for any fishery targeting coral reef ecosystem MUS operating in low-use MPA (50 fathom curve around Johnston Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, and Wake Island) or on any potentially harvested coral reef taxa (PHCRT)

• Ban on fishing for precious coral MUS landward of 50 fathom curve at Jarvis, Howland, and BakerIslands, and Kingman Reef

• A receiving vessel must be registered for use with a transshipment permit if that vessel is used  to land or transship PHCRT, or any coral reef ecosystem MUS harvested within low-use MPAs

• Allowable gear types include hand-harvest, spear, slurp gun, hand/dip net, hoop net for Kona crab, throw net, barrier net, surround/purse net that is attended at all times, hook-and-line, crab and fish traps with vessel ID number affixed or remote operating vehicle/submersible

• Special permit, reporting and pre-landing notification requirements apply for the use of other gear types to harvest coral reef ecosystem taxa

• Ban on possession and use of poisons, explosives or intoxicating substances to take coral reef ecosystem managed species

• Ban on harvest of live rock and living corals except for indigenous people for traditional uses and aquaculture operations for seed stock under special permit, reporting and pre-landing notification requirements

For Pelagic Fisheries Regulations, click here.

Enforcement

Federal fishing regulations applicable to the PRIA are enforced by the NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) Pacific Islands Division as well as the U.S. Coast Guard’s District Fourteen.