Category Archives: Western Pacific

U.S. Rep Darren Soto’s Billfish Conservation Act cuts consumer access to sustainable fresh seafood

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is disappointed that America’s seafood consumers may soon be deprived of sustainably harvested domestic marlin products should President Trump sign legislation to prohibit interstate commerce of billfish (not including swordfish) landed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. Darren Soto ’s (D-Fla.), passed the House on June 26 and the Senate on July 30 and is now headed to the president. “It is upsetting, in this era of tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and the $12 billion US seafood trade deficit, that highly monitored US Pacific Island fishing and seafood communities may suffer hardship should this legislation become law,” notes Kitty M. Simonds, executive director of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. >click to read<10:34

Sam Parisi: HR-200 was passed in the House and will now move on to the Senate. Push Your Senators!

There has been a lot of those for and against the bill, and after reading the forty-nine pages of the bill and trying to consume it, I have come to the conclusion that over all it is a move in the right direction. The enactment of the 200 mile limit was needed because of foreign fisherman from other countries were destroying our Fisheries and our government at that time had no jurisdiction, Japanese and Russian Factory Ships were invading our waters using small mesh netting scooping up small fish like haddock, cod, flounder, and other bottom dwelling species. I say this because while fishing for whiting off the Canyons near Cape Cod I saw in front of me and fishing along side of me, those factory ships. >click to read<17:48

Opinion: Fisheries act is a chance to build trust

There’s a little something for everyone to hate in the House’s proposed renewal of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Commercial fishermen feel it gives too much to recreational fishermen and environmentalists. Recreational fishermen say it goes too easy on their commercial counterparts, and the environmental lobby says the measure, which passed the House last week along largely partisan lines, will undo years of progress in restoring fish stocks. We are left with what we have had for decades — a pitched battle among competing interests, with no end in sight. Congress must do better to help guarantee that the science behind management decisions is sound and easily understandable. >click to read<19:25

Seafood Industry should Organize, File National Class Action Lawsuit Against Anti-Commercial Fishing 501(C)’s, private companies

Every Seafood Industry related trade association in America should join hands and file a National Class Action Lawsuit  against certain 501(C) organizations and private companies that have de-humanized the Commercial Fishermen in the United States by reducing the non-boaters share of the Federal Fishery Resources. The lawsuit should be filed in the District of Columbia Federal Court on behalf of the hundreds of millions of non-boaters who depend on access to the nations fish at restaurants and retail markets through the labors of Commercial Fishermen. By Bob Jones >click to read<08:32

The MSA and Don Young’s partisan dilemma

“We must remain committed to the bipartisan, bicameral tradition of fisheries management,” Rep. Don Young wrote last Sunday, “and my legislation accomplishes just that.” He was referring to the reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens Act. But when the House passed it on Wednesday, only nine Democrats voted in favor of it. Which explains why, in the same opinion piece, Young complained about “the hyper-partisan mentality” his “Democratic colleagues subscribe to.” Like the breakup of a marriage, there are two sides to this story. The reason why Young is arguing from both might be that he was caught in the middle. >click to read<09:00

Fishing tradition clashes with enforcement

Johnny “Atulai” Taitano just wants to fish. In the last 60 years, he’s been arrested officially and unofficially 38 times, Taitano said. On Thursday, Taitano had yet another run-in with Port Authority of Guam police who contend his net fishing is in violation of Port policies that ban net fishing in the Hagåtña boat basin. “They’re confiscating the fish, the nets, the boats. It’s sad. I’m a fisherman,” Taitano said. While out catching fish that he was to sell to a local restaurant, Taitano said, Port Police called his group of fishermen back to shore. >click to read<11:11

House of Representatives – Debate and Passage of HR-200

July 11, 2018 House Session The House meets with debate scheduled on a fisheries management bill sponsored by Rep. Don Young of Alaska. >click to watch<20:52

House votes to overhaul fishery management law – “I’m proud to say that my bill protects our commercial and recreational fisheries’ interests and allow councils to do their jobs in a more streamlined and effective manner,” Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the bill’s sponsor, said on the House floor. >click to read<21:41

Partisanship shouldn’t undermine our fisheries

Partisan rancor may be standard operating procedure for most of Washington, but let’s not allow it to unravel the progress we’ve made for our country’s vital fisheries.,,, The current reauthorization legislation on the table, H.R. 200, reauthorizes the MSA for the first time in over a decade. It has the needed type of collaborative, stakeholder-driven support that previous successful reauthorization efforts enjoyed. That’s because this reauthorization wasn’t created overnight — it has been carefully developed over the past five years with input from experts in fisheries’ science, commercial and recreational fishing groups, and a wide array of regional perspectives. >click to read< for various posts on the reauthorization >click here<06:25

Coast Guard investigating cause of fishing vessel grounding off Honolulu Airport

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of a fishing vessel grounding off the Honolulu Airport, Wednesday. Coast Guard crews and salvors from Cates Marine responded to the grounding Wednesday morning, the vessel was successfully refloated, and the Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the grounding. About 30 minutes past midnight Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from the master of the Sea Goddess, an 83-foot Honolulu-based longliner, they were aground about 150-yards from the middle runway at Honolulu Airport with six people aboard. >click to read<18:43

U.S. Commerce Department Announces Appointments to Regional Fishery Management Councils for 2018

The U.S. Commerce Department announced the appointment of 30 members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NOAA Fisheries to manage ocean fish stocks. Twenty-nine of the new and reappointed council members will serve three-year terms from August 11, 2018 through August 10, 2021. One appointed member is filling an at-large seat recently vacated on the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council and this member will serve through August 10, 2020. >click to read<17:02

U.S. House set to vote on key fisheries bill, HR-200, Tuesday

It’s called the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, or H.R. 200. It’s also referred to as the Modern Fish Act. Its author, Rep. Don Young, says the bill would update and improve the Magnuson Stevens Act, the primary law that guides federal fisheries regulators. “Reauthorizing the MSA will ensure a proper balance between the biological needs of fish stocks and the economic needs of fishermen and coastal communities,” Young said after the House Natural Resources Committee approved his bill in December. “MSA has not been reauthorized since 2006. It is long past time for this Congress to act and support our nation’s fisheries.” >click to read< Read the HR-200 Bill->click here< 08:39

Lets get every Rep. in the House to Co-Sponsor “American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act” S1322

Greetings from Gloucester! My name is Sam Parisi, and as some of you know, I have been concerned with the process of how S-K Funds, and distribution of the funds have been handled by NOAA.
I have asked our Senators to support Bill S1322 and I am happy to say thanks to Angela Sanfilppo, The Mayor of Gloucester, The Mass Lobster Association, the Gloucester Fisheries Commission and fisherman up and down the coast that have contacted Senator Markey who is on the committee, and is now with us in support of this important the bill, which will be going to the House.,, I ask all of you to contact your Congressmen and Senators in your area’s to tell them to vote in favor Senator Dan Sullivan’s bill, the “American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act”, S1322. >click to read<18:01

RIMPAC battle lines forming – “They bomb right where we fish,”

It’s the 26th exercise since RIMPAC began in 1971 and the third iteration of the Oceans4Peace Coalition, which works to turn the heads of the public and Legislature against the exercise. “We are committed to educating the public about the Navy’s war games and their impacts on the ocean and our islands,” organizer Gordon LaBedz told TGI before the meeting.,, Shyla Moon, Kauai adviser for the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, said fishermen are concerned about the impacts to stocks during and after RIMPAC. “They bomb right where we fish,” she said. >click to read<09:51

Western Pacific Fishery Management Council Meeting in Wailea, Maui, June 11-13, 2018

Location: Wailea Beach Resort, 3700 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, Maui. >click to read< 16:52

Three New Species Of Warm-Blooded Fish Discovered

Scientists have found three more species of a fish that – despite what we are taught at school – are fully warm-blooded. The species in question are large deep-sea fish known as opah, and are found in many oceans around the planet. A few years ago, the opah made headlines when it was revealed to be the first fully warm-blooded fish species ever discovered. Living in the frigid waters of the deep ocean, it warms its blood by continuously flapping its fins to generate heat. This keeps the fish’s core temperature at about 4 to 5°C (7.2-9°F) >click to read<16:22

Justice Department fines 2 Hawaii commercial fishing companies over illegal discharge

Two Honolulu-based commercial fishing companies have been ordered to pay civil fines after they discharged oily bilge waste into the Pacific Ocean. Under a settlement reached with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Coast Guard, Triple Dragon, LLC, its company manager and vessel operator have been ordered to pay fines totaling $25,500 for violations of the Clean Water Act and the Coast Guard’s spill prevention and pollution control regulations. The other company, Capt. Millions III, its manager and vessel operator were ordered to pay fines totaling $22,000 for the same violations. >click to read<18:18

20K-Pound Fresh Fish Catch Helps San Diego Maritime Industry

Thousands of pounds of fish were offloaded Thursday in Point Loma, an occurrence that happens a few times a month in San Diego but is part of an evolving maritime industry. The Port of San Diego is highlighting the commercial fishing industry for “Maritime Month.” Many of the fishermen who work in San Diego have been a part of the local fishing industry for generations and spend weeks at a time at sea. On Thursday, four of those fishermen aboard the boat “Anthony G” used forklifts to unload about 20-thousand pounds of swordfish, tuna, manchong and other fresh catches at Driscoll’s Wharf in Point Loma. Video, >click to read<16:47

2017 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries NMFS is pleased to present the 2017 Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries managed under the science-based framework established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The 2017 report highlights the work toward the goal of maximizing fishing opportunities while ensuring the sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities. Due to the combined efforts of NOAA Fisheries, the eight regional fishery management councils, and other partners, three previously overfished stocks were rebuilt and the number of stocks listed as overfished is at a new all-time low. >click to read<16:04

Tuna Industry Faces a Price-Fixing Scandal as Bumble Bee CEO Faces Criminal Charges

Price-fixing allegations have rocked the food world for the second time this year, as the CEO of Bumble Bee Foods is facing criminal charges for allegedly working to eliminate competition in the packaged seafood industry. Christopher Lischewski has been charged with one count of price fixing. That follows earlier similar charges against three StarKist tuna executives. One, who served as senior vice president for sales, pleaded guilty last year. Two other Bumble Bee executives have already pleaded guilty to price-fixing, and the company itself agreed to pay a $25 million fine for the same offense last year. >click to read<14:27

Senate Should Confirm Barry Myers to Lead NOAA

NOAA – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – needs its leader! President Trump nominated Barry Lee Myers, the CEO of AccuWeather, to the post in mid-October. The Senate Commerce Committee has twice advanced Myers’ nomination to the full Senate. All that’s needed to fill this important job is a majority vote on the Senate floor, which both Democrats and Republicans expect to happen. Unfortunately, partisan politics keeps getting in the way, delaying the vote. >click to read<10:06

Hawaii’s commercial swordfish fleet shut down for rest of year

Hawaii’s commercial swordfish fleet has been shut down for the rest of the year following a court order aimed at protecting endangered loggerhead sea turtles. The National Marine Fisheries Service closed the Hawaii shallow-set longline fishery in a move heralded Wednesday by conservation groups that sued for the turtle protections. Under the court order the swordfish fishery will close, and a new biological assessment will determine what the limit will be next year. “It’s a good result for all parties,” said Jim Cook, board member with the Hawaii Longline Association. >click to read<10:51

AFT Holdings to Withdraw from Direct Investment in Tuna Vessels

AFT Holdings, Inc. today announced its intent this year to withdraw its direct investment in the U.S. Flagged Ocean Global and Sea Global Fleet of Tuna Seiners. Going forward, the international investment group will focus its resources on its current portfolio of companies, as well as in creating new opportunities in the functional and healthy food space. In 2007, AFT and its principals were one of the original investors to commit to the resurgence of the U.S. Tuna Fleet in the Western Central Pacific. In 2006, the U.S. Fleet had been reduced to 13 vessels,,, >click here to read<19:27

Commercial Fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone – What was being caught and where back to 1950

What is the status of commercial fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, the waters from 3 to 200 miles off our coastline? Generally speaking – something that the “bureaucrats in charge” have developed a great deal of facility in doing – it’s pretty good. Since the National Marine Fisheries Service started getting serious about tracking commercial landings (or at making those landings readily accessible) in 1950, the total weight of our domestic landings has increased from 4.9 billion to 9.8 billion pounds. The value of those landings, when corrected for inflation, has increased from $3.3 billion to $5.2 billion, almost as good. Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA >click to read<17:03

Billfish Conservation Act: Hawaii seafood wholesalers fear Congress could block mainland marlin exports

Last year, Garden & Valley Isle Seafood, Inc. exported roughly 300,000 pounds of freshly-caught marlin to the mainland. The sales added up to nearly $1.5 million worth of striped marlin, blue marlin and spearfish to wholesalers, supermarkets, chefs and restaurants. Hawaii seafood exporters fear those sales may soon suffer serious slowdowns – more specifically, that Congress is about to pull the plug on that lucrative mainland marlin market.  Bills in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House call for amending the Billfish Conservation Act to prevent the commercial export of marlin caught in Hawaiian waters to the mainland. >click to read<10:08

President Trump to make decision on monuments by April 16

President Donald Trump has until April 16th to either follow his Interior secretary’s recommendations to relax fishing restrictions in marine monuments key for American Samoa and Atlantic coast fishermen or let a court challenge to the monuments proceed. A federal court has agreed to allow Atlantic fishermen and lobstermen to proceed with a lawsuit that seeks to reverse Obama-era protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument off the New England coast. But the case could have a direct bearing on when or how American Samoa’s tuna industry gets relief from fishing restrictions in the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll marine monuments. >click to read<16:02

A 28-year-old fisherman from outside Ho Chi Minh City saved lives as F/V Princess Hawaii sank

Khanh Huynh has been a commercial fisherman since he was 12 years old. For the past six years, he’s been living on a fishing boat in Hawaii, catching premium ahi tuna for some of the world’s most discerning consumers. The 28-year-old fisherman from outside Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, recently saved the lives of two Americans and helped rescue five others after the fishing vessel he was working on sank hundreds of miles off Hawaii’s Big Island. But Huynh isn’t the captain. A federal observer who was one of eight people on the boat said the Vietnamese worker was in charge of the vessel from the time it left port to when it sank. >click to read<09:56

Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act of 2018 – bill nets solutions for overfishing

A new bipartisan bill introduced in U.S. Congress this month encourages a science-based approach to significantly reduce the overfishing and unsustainable trade of sharks, rays and skates around the world and prevent shark finning. The Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act of 2018 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Daniel Webster, R-FL, and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA, along with co-sponsors Rep. Bill Posey, R-FL, Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-MO, and Rep. Walter Jones, R-NC., >click to read<09:39

Wife says federal fishery observer on sunken boat ‘traumatized’

The wife of a federal observer who was aboard the fishing vessel that sank off the coast of Hawaii Island over the weekend said Wednesday that her husband, a humorous adventurer and outdoorsman, was shaken by the dramatic event. Steve Dysart was mostly uninjured, though “he said he has some bruises, some bumps, that sort of thing,” Sherri Dysart said. “He said sometimes he’s quite traumatized, but he’s able to come in and out of that. He sounded shaky, but in good spirits and thankful for the other crew members, they all worked as a team.” >click to read<07:31

Coast Guard locates 8 people in life raft over 400 miles north of Hawaii

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point located a life raft with eight people aboard from the fishing vessel Princess Hawaii over 400 miles north of the Big Island, Sunday evening. The Hercules crew will remain on scene as long as fuel is available and the crew of the commercial fishing vessel Commander is en route to pick up the crew. The Princess Hawaii reportedly had a captain, six crewmembers and an observer from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aboard and was fishing within 20 miles of its sister ship, the Commander. >click to read< 09:08

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross questions safety of seafood imports

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross addressed U.S. fisheries regulations and his concern about the quality of seafood imports with the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, 20 March, and he said he’s looking for NOAA Fisheries officials to work harder to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit.,, “It’s one of my pet peeves,” Ross said, when asked by U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Mississippi) what he planned to do to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit. “I hate the idea that with all the water surrounding us and all the water inland that we have a trade deficit in fish. >click to read<13:05