The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. Amended in 1996 to prevent overfishing, minimize by catch and protect fish stocks and habitat, it is now called the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA).
During its first 42 years, the Council’s accomplishments have run the gamut from being the first Regional Fishery Management Council in the nation to prohibit drift gill-net fishing and to develop an ecosystem-based fishery management plan to being the pioneer of the vessel monitoring system (VMS) for fishing vessels, which is now being implemented in fisheries worldwide.
The Council is made up of 16 Council members, the Council staff and several Council advisory bodies. The Council process is a bottom-up process, emphasizing public participation and involvement of fisheries management at the local and community levels.
Council decisions are based on the best available scientific information provided largely by the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and are transmitted to the Secretary of Commerce for approval.
Management measures created by the Council and approved by the Secretary are implemented by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Pacific Islands Regional Office and enforced by the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard 14th District and local enforcement agencies.
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