Tag: wespac

Proposal to Extend Marine National Monument Would Impact Western Pacific Fisheries
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Proposal to Extend Marine National Monument Would Impact Western Pacific Fisheries

Fishing community advisors attending the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (Wespac) meeting in Honolulu expressed concern over U.S. plans to extend the Papahanamokuakea Marine National Monument and potentially the Pacific Remote Islands with sanctuary regulations. They told the Fishery Management Council last week that such a move would result in fishing area closures and destabilization of foreign seafood imports on market dynamics. “The tuna industry is the only industry we have, the government relies on the canneries,” Gene Pan, an American Samoa Advisory Panel member, said. “You are stopping us from fishing, but not the Chinese. Without the people, there is no Samoa.” “Without the StarKist cannery, we cannot continue to sustain our cultural heritage and k...
Wespac Science Advisors Endorse Hawaii, Guam Bottomfish Stock Assessments
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Wespac Science Advisors Endorse Hawaii, Guam Bottomfish Stock Assessments

Science advisors to the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (Wespac) have endorsed two bottomfish stock assessments for the main Hawaiian Islands and Guam as the best scientific information available. The council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) accepted the stock assessments on March 14. The assessments found that main Hawaiian Islands deep-seven stock is not overfished and not experiencing overfishing and that Guam stock likely is not overfished and likely not experiencing overfishing relative to reference points. The SSC endorsed the 2023 benchmark stock assessment and recommended that the council initiate the process for setting an updated acceptable biological catch and specifying annual catch limits. The council noted that significant improvem...
Wespac Science Advisors Caution Against Repercussions From Fishing Regulations
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Wespac Science Advisors Caution Against Repercussions From Fishing Regulations

Science advisors to the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (WPFMC, Wespac) are expressing concern about what they view as potential negative unintended consequences of adding more fishing limits in the U.S. Pacific Remote Islands (PRI). Wespac issued its comments in a Nov. 29 statement after the council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) was tasked with evaluating current fishing regulations in the PRI. SSC members reaffirmed their recommendation from the September meeting that existing regulations are sufficient to meet objectives of the proposed PRI National Marine Sanctuary. The SSC found no scientific evidence to support additional fishing regulations and cautioned that further limits on the U.S. fleet could have negative impacts on the region. SSC member...
Wespac Scientific Advisors to Meet Regarding Proposed Pacific Remote Islands Sanctuary
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Wespac Scientific Advisors to Meet Regarding Proposed Pacific Remote Islands Sanctuary

Scientific advisors to the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC, Wespac) are slated to wrap up a two-day meeting in Honolulu Nov. 29 regarding several topics, including the proposed Pacific Remote Islands (PRI) sanctuary. Also on the agenda is a call for advice on uku (blue-green snapper) essential fish habitat revision for the Hawai’i Fishery Ecosystem Plan, U.S. territorial bigeye tuna catch and allocation limits. The council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) meeting, scheduled for Nov. 28-29, is being held remotely via web conference. The full agenda and background documents and instructions for providing oral public comments are online at www.wpcouncil.org/event/150th-scientific-and-statistical-committee. The SSC was scheduled to review av...
WPFMC Voices Concerns Over Pacific Remote Islands Sanctuary
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WPFMC Voices Concerns Over Pacific Remote Islands Sanctuary

A proposed marine sanctuary in the Pacific Remote Islands (PRI) is being strongly criticized by the chairman of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (WPFMC) as potentially devastating to the economy of American Samoa. “This top-down approach to regulating fisheries is wrong,” Council Chair Will Sword told the Council Coordination Committee (CCC) during its Oct. 11-13 meeting in Alexandria, Va.  “It is completely opposite of the [Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act] process where the bottom-up approach is mandatory.” Sword said the Biden administrations executive orders on equity and environmental justice goals “are rubbish if this sanctuary proposal becomes a reality, for there will be no commercial fishing.” The WPFMC, commenting in an Oct. 23 s...