Change to Offshore Fisheries Management in U.S. Pacific Islands, ENN, 12/23/05
By Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council
Article Source: Environmental News Network (ENN)
HONOLULU — The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, on Tuesday in Honolulu, approved a change from species-based to place-based management of offshore fisheries in the U.S. Pacific Islands. Under the change, the 4 existing fishery management plans (FMPs) for bottomfish, crustaceans, precious corals and coral reef resources in federal waters (generally 3 to 200 miles offshore) of the U.S. Pacific islands would be restructured into 4 place-based fishery ecosystem plans (FEPs):
• Mariana Archipelago FEP (to include Guam and Northern Mariana Islands);
• Hawaii Archipelago FEP (to include both the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, including Midway Island);
• American Samoa Archipelago FEP; and
• Pacific Islands Remote Island Areas FEP (to include the islands and atolls of Baker, Howland, Jarvis, Johnston, Palmyra, Wake and Kingman Reef).
The existing Pelagic FMP for the Western Pacific Region would become a Pacific Pelagic FEP.
This structural change will allow the Council in the future to incorporate more ecosystem-based principles into the management of fisheries in the federal waters (generally 3 to 200 miles offshore) of the U.S. Pacific islands. No new regulations would be implemented at this time.
The “ecosystem-based” approach to fishery management has been promoted since 1986 by policy makers, fishery management agencies and environmentalists worldwide, including the President’s Commission on Ocean Policy, Pew Ocean Commission, NOAA and UN Food and Agriculture Organization among others.
The Council adopted the objectives, boundaries, management unit species designation, structure of the Council’s advisory groups, and regional/international coordination and community participation of the FEPs. Council staff will work with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and local resource management agency staff to ensure that the draft FEPs are accurate and clear and respond to public comments, as appropriate, before transmitting the FEPs to NMFS for approval by the Secretary of Commerce.
For more information, contact the Council at (808) 522-8220, (808) 522-8226 (fax), email@example.com or www.wpcouncil.org. The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is the policy-making agency for fisheries management in federal waters (3 to 200 miles offshore) of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
Media & Education Specialist
Website : www.wpcouncil.org