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

FALL 2017 Pacific Islands Fishery Newsletter

There is a lot of information in the newsletter about issues that are common to other area’s, MPA’s, council actions, and includes a post from Paul Dalzell, senior scientist and pelagic fisheries coordinator for the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, reflects on trends in fishery management since 1996 and takes a stab at a few of his pet peeves and vexations. A key problem with environmental activists is they must constantly campaign. The campaign can never die. Thus groups seeking an end to fishing simply shift the goal posts as one issue fades or is addressed by fishery management. Campaigns to address large top predators in the marine ecosystem are supplanted by campaigns gravely concerned about small forage fish. click here to read the newsletter11:13

Management of Pacific fisheries at WESPAC’s committee meeting

Pacific scientists will meet in Lihue, Kauai, from Oct. 10 to 12 to provide recommendations on managing fisheries in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the CNMI, and the US Pacific Remote Islands Areas. The meeting of the Scientific and Statistical Committee of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is open to the public. The council will consider the recommendations of the SSC and its other advisory bodies at its 171st meeting on Oct. 17-19 in Utulei, American Samoa. The major agenda items include the following: click here to read the story 11:10

Congressman Blasts Fishery Council For ‘Improper Lobbying’ – asks for an investigation

The Honolulu-based Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council was harshly criticized on Capitol Hill last week over allegations of anti-environmental lobbying and secretiveness. U.S. Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, a Democrat who represents the Northern Marianas Islands, blasted the council known as Wespac during a hearing before the Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee. Sablan asked for an investigation of the 16-member council’s activities, which he said include “improper lobbying,” organizing efforts to undermine environmental protections and unspecified financial conflicts of interest. click here to read the story 11:09

Blown Deadlines Weaken Hawaii’s Voice On Federal Fishery Management Council

Hawaii will soon have less influence in setting national policies that affect everything from commercial fishing to endangered species in nearly 1.5 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean. Gov. David Ige’s administration twice missed deadlines to submit to federal officials a list of names to fill two at-large terms that expire in August on the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. The seats have historically been held by Hawaii residents. Instead, they will be filled from the lists provided by the governors of American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. Guam, the other U.S. territory represented on the council, did not nominate anyone. click here to read the story 08:40