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The Pacific Islands Regional Office of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Pacific Islands Regional Office manages programs that support both domestic and international conservationand management of living marine resources within the Pacific. The Pacific Islands Region is comprised of American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, and other U.S. Pacific islands.
What's Hot Now
Seven Species of Giant Clams Warrant Status Review — NOAA Seeking Additional Information
NOAA Fisheries found that a petition to list ten species of giant clams as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act presents sufficient evidence to warrant further consideration for seven of the species. We will now conduct status reviews for those seven species throughout their ranges: Hippopus hippopus, H. porcellanus, Tridacna squamosa, T. costata, T. gigas, T. derasa, and T. tevoroa. Three of the giant clam species, Tridacna maxima, T. crocea, and T. noae, do not warrant further consideration.
To submit scientific and commercial information pertaining to these species, visit the 90-day Finding to List 10 Species of Giant Clams on the Federal Register. Comments are due by August 25, 2017.
For more information, visit the Giant Clams species page.
Take Part in the Hawaiian Monk Seal Photo Contest!
NOAA Fisheries is pleased to announce the first-ever photo contest to showcase Hawaiian monk seals in a photographic calendar, which will be available for 2018. Enter now for your chance to be featured in the calendar! You can submit up to 5 entries. We remind all participants to be careful of their surroundings and always put safety first!
- Coexistence with Hawai‘i's native seal
- Threats to survival
- Monk seals in their natural setting
- Monument Insight
Submissions will be accepted from June 19 through September 15, 2017. Refer to the Rules page for photo contest requirements.
NOAA Fisheries Releases the Annual Status of Stocks U.S. Fisheries Report and Fisheries Economics of the U.S. Report.
Each report highlights the progress the nation has made in ending overfishing, rebuilding historically overfished stocks, and helping our fishermen, fish farmers, and fishing communities. The Fisheries Economics of the U.S. report continues to be a positive indicator of the value of U.S. fisheries to the economy with commercial and recreational fishing generating $200 billion in sales, contributing $97 billion to the gross domestic product, and supporting 1.6 million full- and part-time jobs. For more information on both reports and other supporting materials, see here.
NOAA Fisheries Releases 2016 Final Estimated for Saltwater Recreational Catch
NOAA Fisheries is releasing its 2016 final estimates for total saltwater recreational catch from Maine through Mississippi, as well as Puerto Rico and Hawaii. For more information on the final 2016 recreational catch estimates, see here.
Revealing the Unknowns of an Unusual Catch
Last year, a NOAA Fisheries observer brought to port a strange deep-sea fish that turned out to be a bluntnose sixgill shark, which is rarely caught on longlines. Read our feature story here to learn more about this abnormal catch, as well as the efforts of NOAA Fisheries and Waikīkī Aquarium scientists to better understand it.
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Pelagic Deep-set Tuna Longline Fisheries in the Pacific Islands
NOAA Fisheries and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council announce the Notice of Intent to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the continued authorization of U.S. Pacific Island deep-set tuna longline fisheries. The PEIS would evaluate elements of the longline fisheries based in Hawaii (including those operating from the U.S. west coast), American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
We encourage the public to comment on issues relating to management of the deep-set longline fisheries, including including catch of target species (e.g., tunas) and non- target species (e.g., sharks), interactions with protected species, and impacts on the pelagic ecosystem. The public comment period is open until April 14, 2017.
For more information on the PEIS about deep-set tuna longline fisheries, see here.
2017 Year of the Monk Seal:
NOAA Fisheries announces the population increase of Hawaiian monk seals! In recognition of a decade of conservation efforts and as part of our Species in the Spotlight initiative, we celebrate this good news and renew our dedication to work ahead with the Year of the Monk Seal!
Population Increases Over the Last 3 Years
NOAA Fisheries proposes to list the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (81 FR 96304)
NOAA Releases Pacific Islands Regional Action Plan for Climate Science
NOAA Fisheries released the Pacific Islands Regional Action Plan (RAP) for climate science to guide implementation of the NOAA Fisheries National Climate Science Strategy. The Pacific Islands RAP is one of five across the nation and will provide decision makers with the climate-related information they need to reduce impacts to and increase resilience of the region's valuable marine resources and the many people, businesses, and communities that depend upon them. Read more here.
Building resilience to climate change one landscape at a time.
A Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative report and companion website were released to highlight partnerships that build resilience of natural resources in the U.S. These partnerships demonstrate the benefits of using existing collaborative, landscape-scale conservation approaches to address climate change and other resource management challenges. A website was created to house and visualize all the information gathered and created for organizations to utilize and build upon in future actions for the three sites that comprise the Hawaii landscape (West Hawaii, West Maui, and Oahu). Details are available here.
NOAA awards $5.4 million in grants for endangered, threaten species recovery.
NOAA announces $5.4 million in funding for 17 new projects and the continuation of 8 multi-year projects under the 2016 Species Recovery Grant Program. Funding opportunities count towards recovering species and tracks with our mission of preserving our marine resources for future generations.
NOAA Fisheries is now accepting applications for the 2017 Species Recovery Grant Programs to States until October 17, 2017 and to Tribes until October 24, 2016. State applications, see here. Tribal applications, see here.
Monk Seal of the Month
The monk seal of the month for July is R5AY. A long-time resident of O‘ahu whose life was saved after she was seriously injured and nearly starved due to a fishery interaction. Read R5AY's story.
NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement is releasing their draft priorities document for public comment.
Seeking public comment on these priorities to obtain input from diverse interest groups, promote transparency and set expectations for future enforcement activities.
This document features Fisheries' goals, priorities, and anticipated results for next year.
Species in the Spotlight: Hawaiian Monk Seal
Get the latest news on monk seals, here.