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Press Release – Scientists to Recommend Acceptable Biological Catch Limits for Federally Managed US Pacific Island Fisheries (13 October 2018)

Uku or grey snapper (Aprion virescens)

HONOLULU (13 October 2018) Scientists will convene next week on the island of Hawai‘i to discuss and make recommendations on federally managed fisheries of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the US Pacific Remote Islands. The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council will hold its 130th meeting from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 15 to 17, at the Naniloa Hotel Double Tree by Hilton in Hilo.

Among the key agenda items is the specification of acceptable biological catches for the Hawaii bottomfish known locally as uku or grey snapper (Aprion virescens), Hawaii deep-water shrimp and Hawaii precious corals for fishing year 2019 to 2021. The SSC will also consider specifying acceptable biological catches for Hawaii Kona crab and for bottomfish in American Samoa, Guam and the CNMI for fishing year 2019.

The Council will take into account the SSC specifications when it discusses annual catch limits (ACLs) for these species. ACLs can be equal to or lower than the annual biological catches set by the SSC, depending on scientific and management uncertainties. The Council is scheduled to meet Oct. 23 and 24 in Saipan, CNMI, and Oct. 26 and 27 in Guam.

Among the other items the SSC will discuss and on which it may make recommendations are mandatory electronic reporting for the Hawaii longline fishery and management of loggerhead and leatherback sea turtle interactions in the Hawaii-based shallow-set longline fishery.

For complete agendas and background materials on these meetings, go to www.wpcouncil.org/category/upcoming-council-and-advisory-body-meetings or contact the Council at info.wpcouncil@noaa.gov or (808) 522-8220.

Scientific and Statistical Committee: James Lynch (K&L Gates LLP) (chair); Debra Cabrera (St. John’s School, Guam); Frank Camacho (University of Guam); Milani Chaloupka (University of Queensland); Erik Franklin (Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology); Shelton Harley (Ministry for Primary Industries, NZ); Ray Hilborn (University of Washington); Justin Hospital (NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center); David Itano (fisheries consultant); Donald Kobayashi (NMFS PIFSC); Steve Martell (SeaState Inc.); Domingo Ochavillo (American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources); Ryan Okano (Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources); Graham Pilling (Secretariat of the Pacific Community); Kurt Schaefer (Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission); Craig Severance (University of Hawai`I at Hilo, retired); Michael Tenorio (CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife; and Michael Seki (ex-officio) (NMFS PIFSC).

Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council: Secretary of Commerce appointees from nominees selected by American Samoa, CNMI, Guam and Hawaii governors: John Gourley, Micronesian Environmental Services (CNMI) (acting chair); Michael Duenas, Guam Fishermen’s Cooperative Association (Guam) (vice chair); Dean Sensui, film producer (Hawaii) (vice chair); Archie Soliai, StarKist (American Samoa) (vice chair); Michael Goto, United Fishing Agency (Hawaii); Christinna Lutu-Sanchez, commercial fisherman (American Samoa); Edwin Watamura (Hawaii). Designated state officials: Raymond Roberto, CNMI Department of Lands and Natural Resources; Suzanne Case, Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources; Matt Sablan, Guam Department of Agriculture; Henry Sesepasra, American Samoa Department of Marine & Wildlife Resources. Designated federal officials (voting): Michael Tosatto, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office. Designated federal officials (non-voting): RADM Kevin Lunday, USCG 14th District; Michael Brakke, US Department of State; Brian Peck, USFWS.