The Council completed the Fishery Management Plan for Coral Reef Ecosystems of the Western Pacific Region in October of 2001. On June 14, 2002 NMFS issued a Record of Decision that partially approved the FMP. NMFS disapproved a portion of the plan that governs fishing in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) west of 160°50′ W. long. because it would be inconsistent with or duplicate certain provisions of Executive Orders 13178 and 13196, which together established the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve. A final rule implementing the Coral Reef Ecosystem FMP was published on February 24, 2004 (69 FR 8336).

The FMP is the nation’s first ecosystem-based plan for fisheries and includes specific measures to promote sustainable fisheries while providing for substantial protection of coral reef ecosystem resources and habitats throughout the Council’s jurisdiction. The management measures of the Coral Reef Ecosystems FMP:

  1. Establish a network of marine protected areas (MPA) in the Pacific Remote Island Areas (PRIA). Howland, Baker, Jarvis Islands, Rose Atoll, and Kingman Reef have been designated as no-take MPAs. Palmyra and Johnston Atolls, and Wake Islands are designated as low-use MPAs where fishing is allowed under special fishing permits. Both no-take and low-use MPAs were proposed for the NWHI in the FMP, but were disapproved by NMFS;
  2. Establish a special permit and federal reporting system for controlling and monitoring the harvest of certain coral reef ecosystem management unit species (MUS) for which there is little or no information. Special permits are also required to fish in all areas designated as low-use MPAs. The FMP also uses data collected under existing local reporting systems to monitor the harvest of currently fished coral reef ecosystem MUS;
  3. Prohibit the use of destructive and non-selective fishing gears;
  4. Prohibit harvesting of coral and live rock, but allow limited take under the special permit system for collection of seed stock by aquaculture operations, and religious/cultural use by indigenous peoples;
  5. Incorporate an adaptive management approach using a framework process for rapid regulatory modifications in the event of major changes within coral reef ecosystems or coral reef fisheries;
  6. Consider and take into account in management, the historical and cultural dependence of coral reef resources by indigenous people and;
  7. Identify and prioritize coral reef related research needs for each island area, including socio-economic and cultural research for future potential allocation of resources.

Coral Reef Ecosystems FMP Final Rule.

Coral Reef Ecosystem
Fishery Management
Plan Volume I


Coral Reef Ecosystem
Fishery Management Plan – Environmental Impact Statement – Volume II