The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council considers education and outreach as one of the foundations for ensuring sustainable fisheries in the Pacific Islands. One of the Council’s seven Guiding Principles is to “Conduct education and outreach to foster good stewardship principles and broad and direct public participation in the Council’s decision making process.”
As part of its three regular Council meetings annually, the Council holds a Fishers Forum on a current topic of interest at a time and location to facilitate public participation. Recent subjects have ranged from coastal and marine spatial planning to management of turtles, from delisting of the North Pacific humpback whale from the Endangered Species Act to the management of sharks, and from traditional fishing to fisheries development. In 2014, topics like noncommercial fishing and Hawai`i Yellowfin and North Pacific Striped Marlin Management were the focus.
To help ensure wide outreach and public participation throughout the Western Pacific Region, the Council holds community meetings outside of the state and territorial capitals. Recent meetings have included the Manua`a Islands in American Samoa; Rota and Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands; Merizo on Guam; and the various neighboring islands of Hawaii.
The Council also holds community workshops on current topics of interest, such as traditional management systems, bio-sampling and coastal and marine spatial planning.
Brochures, displays, posters, newsletters, traditional lunar calendars, monographs, videos, powerpoint presentations, a speakers program, radio talk shows, conference proceedings, magazine articles and display ads are among the many products used to reach the public.
Council staff can be found at informational booths at many island tournaments and community events to share these materials with you. Go to the Council’s events calendar to find out about upcoming Council and advisory body meetings and other meetings and events where you will find us.
We periodically engage professional communication firms to conduct focus groups and surveys to learn how to better improve our public and community outreach efforts. If you have recommendations, share them with the Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.