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Pacific Council To Meet On Tuna Quota Management

Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council—which was established by Congress to manage fisheries in the offshore waters of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and other US Pacific island areas—will convene July 22 to 25, 2009, at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The Forum will discuss the past, present and future of the fisheries for marlin in the US Pacific Islands and management measures to ensure that these fisheries remain sustainable and viable.
Of the several issues to be discussed 2 specifically relate to the Pacific tuna catch:

 • Fishing Regulations in the Pacific Marine National Monuments: The  Council is expected to take preliminary action on definitions and  management measures for the new Marianas Trench, Rose Atoll and Pacific Remote Islands Area Marine National Monuments designated by President George W. Bush. Potential definitions to be considered include sustenance fishing, recreational fishing, traditional indigenous fishing, non-commercial fishing, and culturally significant subsistence, cultural and religious uses of fish resources.

• Tuna Quota Management: The Council will consider a range of actions to further manage the longline fishery in the Western Pacific Region. Options include a region-wide limited entry longline program, region-wide port access program, catch shares or a limited access privilege program, sector allocations, trip limits for non-target sector, temporary bigeye or yellowfin prohibition trigger, seasonal tuna prohibition, change in the fishing year, monthly landing limits, domestic bigeye catch limits for the US territories and CNMI, waiver of observer requirements when no observers are available, three-year rolling catch limits and effort limits. The Council is expected to recommend one or more of these approaches and/or additional approaches for analyses. The Council may recommend pursuing one approach for the long-term, while recommending one or more different approaches for the immediate future.