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 conservation and 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.

Read more about the Pacific Islands Regional Office.

What's Hot Now

NOAA Fisheries announces $4.7 million in funding to states and tribes to support threatened and endangered species recovery. For more information, please read the press release here.


NOAA Fisheries announces a 90-day finding (79 FR 52276) on a petition to list eight species of pomacentrid reef fish under the Endangered Species Act; status review initiated for one species: the orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula). In response to a petition to list eight species of pomacentrid reef fish, we present a finding on the seven Indo-Pacific species included in the petition. We find that the petition presents substantial information indicating that listing may be warranted for one Indo-Pacific species: the orange clownfish. This species is now considered a candidate species, and a status review will be initiated. To submit scientific and commercial information pertaining to the orange clownfish by November 3, 2014, see here. We also find that the petition does not provide substantial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted for the other six Indo-Pacific species. The remaining species occurs in the Caribbean and will be addressed via a separate finding.

Please see the Protected Resources Division's Reef Fish page for more information here.


NOAA Fisheries Publishes a Final Rule to list 20 species of coral as Threatened under the ESA: 15 in the Indo-Pacific and 5 in the Caribbean. In the Pacific Islands Region, one or more of the 15 corals proposed for listing occur in Guam (4), the Northern Marianas (2), American Samoa (8), and the Pacific Remote Island Areas (3). No listed corals occur in Hawaii. Please see the Protected Resources Division's Corals page for more information and to view the Federal Register Notice and supporting documents here. For press release see here. For the NOAA Fisheries Featured Story see here.

To hear comments on the Coral Listing made by Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA Fisheries, click here.


NOAA Fisheries publishes a proposed rule to implement fishing restrictions on oceanic whitetip sharks, whale sharks, and silky sharks in the western and central Pacific Ocean. View the proposed rule in the Federal Register and supporting documentation here.


NMFS announces the 2014 meeting of the WCPFC Permanent Advisory Committee - Public Meeting to be held October 6 - October 7 in Honolulu, HI. For more information please view the Federal Register Notice here.


NOAA Fisheries publishes a proposed rule to revise the 2014 limit on fishing effort by U.S. purse seine vessels on the high seas and in the U.S. EEZ in the western and central Pacific Ocean. View the proposed rule in the Federal Register and supporting documents here.


NOAA Fisheries publishes an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, announces a control date, and requests comments regarding fishing capacity limits in purse seine and longline fisheries in the western and central Pacific Ocean. View the notice in the Federal Register here.


NOAA scientists deploy an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to perform surveys of monk seals, sea turtles, sea birds and vegetation and to look for marine debris in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. The UAS was launched and operated from the NOAA Ship Hiialakai. To find out more, please see here.


The 22nd Annual Hawaii Conservation Conference, "Navigating Change in the Pacific Islands," is being held July 15-17 at the Hawaii Convention Center. The conference is chaired by Michael Tosatto, Regional Administrator for the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office, and features former NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco as the opening keynote speaker. For more information on the conference see the HCC website here.


NOAA Fisheries Publishes a Final Rule (79 FR 38214) to list four of six identified distinct population segments (DPSs) of scalloped hammerhead sharks. In the Pacific Islands Region, the Central Pacific DPS (which includes the Hawaiian archipelago and Johnston Atoll) is Not Warranted for listing, the Indo-West Pacific DPS (which includes the U.S. territories and the Pacific Remote Island Areas excluding Johnston Atoll) is listed as Threatened, and the Eastern Pacific DPS is listed as Endangered.

Please see the Protected Resources Division's ESA Section 4 page for more information and maps of the DPSs here.


NOAA Fisheries announces a positive 90-day finding (79 FR 36281) on a petition to identify the Central North Pacific population of humpback whales as a distinct population segment (DPS) and delist the DPS under the Endangered Species Act. NOAA Fisheries finds that the petition presents substantial scientific and commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, we are continuing our status review for the humpback whale to determine whether this population is a DPS and whether delisting is warranted. To submit comments by August 27, 2014, see here.

Please see the Protected Resources Division's ESA Section 4 page for more information here.


NOAA Fisheries requests comments on a proposed permit (79 FR 33726) to authorize incidental take of endangered whales by Hawaii deep-set and shallow-set longline fisheries. The permit will be for a period of three years and will authorize the incidental, but not intentional, taking of three stocks of marine mammals listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the Hawaii deep-set and shallow-set longline fisheries. To submit comments see here.

For the Draft Negligible Impact Determination (NID) and references cited see here.


NOAA Fisheries announces a 12-month Finding (79 FR 33509) on Petitions to List the Great Hammerhead Shark. In response to two petitions to list the great hammerhead shark as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), NOAA Fisheries found the action not warranted.

Please see the Protected Resources Division's ESA Section 4 page for more information here.


Two new NOAA reports show strong economic gains from fishing and continued improvements in fish stocks. NOAA Fisheries released two important reports that continue to document positive trends in the sustainability of U.S. federally-managed fisheries — Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012 and the Status of U.S. Fisheries 2013. Together, these two reports highlight the strength of our federal fisheries as responsibly managed and underscore the broad and positive economic impacts that commercial and recreational fishing contribute to the nation's economy.

For more on these reports, please see the NOAA Fisheries webpage here.


NOAA Fisheries publishes a notice of request for information (79 FR 19870) about any plan or intent to seek authorization for a U.S. purse seine vessel to participate in the western and central Pacific Ocean purse seine fishery. View the information request in the Federal Register here.

Instructions on how to respond to the request for information can be found here.


NOAA Fisheries Announces Availability of Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Actions. The Final PEIS for Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Actions is available for public review and comment. This Final PEIS provides decision-makers and the public with an evaluation of the environmental, social, and economic effects of funding, permitting, and conducting research and enhancement activities identified in the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Plan with the goal of conserving and recovering the species. The Final PEIS can be viewed and downloaded at the PEIS project website. We also invite the public to check out our final PEIS newsletter that provides important summary information about the Final PEIS.


PIFSC Young Scientist Opportunity Flyer

NOAA Fisheries releases the 2014-2015 regional recreational fisheries Action Agenda for the Pacific Islands Region.

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Bottomfish fishery to receive $1,000,000 in fishery disaster relief funds.
As part of the Fiscal Year 2014 federal budget, Congress approved $75 million in fishery disaster relief funds. Read more here.


NOAA Fisheries Regional Office Moving to a New Home at the Inouye Regional Center on Ford Island . NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO) is moving to the brand new NOAA Inouye Regional Center (IRC) at Ford Island beginning February 26, 2014. The move will be completed on March 5, 2014, when we close our present offices at 1601 Kapiolani Boulevard, where we have operated for over 10 years. More...


Check out the Hawaiian Monk Seal Timeline on our website! . View information about the monk seal's history in the Hawaiian archipelago including evidence of interactions in ancient Hawaii, sightings, and protection and recovery efforts for this endangered marine mammal here.


NOAA announces the selection of two sites in the Pacific Islands - Guam and West Hawaii - as the next Habitat Focus Areas under NOAA's Habitat Blueprint. For more information, please see the webpage here.


NOAA Fisheries and its partners expand the Dolphin SMART conservation program in Hawaii to the island of Maui. For more information, please see the PIRO Fishery Bulletin here.


PIFSC Young Scientist Opportunity Flyer

PIFSC Young Scientist Opportunity Program will be Accepting Applications in February

The PIFSC Young Scientist Opportunity (PYSO) program will be accepting applications from aspiring scientists for paid, professional scientific research experience, formal training and mentoring during summer 2014. Application deadline is February 28, 2014.


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NOAA dedicates Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center in Honolulu
Facility will house most of NOAAs Hawai'i presence. Read more here.


NOAA Fisheries makes available to the public its National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 compliance report for Hawaiian monk seal recovery actions. Read more here.


NOAA Fisheries announces a 90-day finding on a petition to list 23 species of corals under the ESA; status review initiated for 3 species: Cantharellus noumeae, Siderastrea glynni, Tubastraea floreana. On July 15, 2013, NOAA Fisheries received a petition from WildEarth Guardians to list 81 species as threatened or endangered and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act, including 23 coral species. Of the 81 species, only 1 species - the coral Porites eridani - is found in the U.S. Pacific Islands region. On October 25, 2013, NOAA Fisheries published a 90-day finding on the portion of the petition related to the 23 coral species. The finding determined that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for 20 of the 23 species, but does present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the remaining 3 species: Cantharellus noumeae, Siderastrea glynni, and Tubastraea floreana. These three species are thus now considered candidate species, and status reviews will be initiated for them. To ensure that the status reviews are comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to these petitioned species from any interested party. Further details can be found in the 90-day finding, available here.

Please see the Protected Resources Division's ESA Section 4 page for more information here.


NOAA Fisheries annual report on landings released. The 2012 Fisheries of the United States publication is a preliminary report on commercial and final report on recreational fisheries of the United States. A copy of the report is available here.


NOAA Fisheries publishes a final rule to establish annual bigeye tuna catch limits for U.S. pelagic longline fisheries in the western and central Pacific Ocean for 2013-2014. View the final rule in the Federal Register and supporting documentation here. The final rule is effective October 23, 2013. A copy of the Compliance Guide for this final rule is available here.


NOAA Fisheries extends final rulemaking deadline on proposed corals listings. On December 7, 2012, NOAA Fisheries published a proposed rule to list 66 reef-building coral species as threatened or endangered and re-classify two already listed Caribbean coral species from threatened to endangered. The Endangered Species Act allows up to a year to make a final determination on proposed listings. However, during the public comment period, commenters raised questions and provided varied, often conflicting, information regarding the species and the available data on which NOAA's proposal was based. After reviewing the information submitted during the public comment period, NOAA Fisheries is extending the deadline for the proposed rule from December 2013 to June 2014. The 6-month extension will be used to gather additional data from experts in the field to inform the final rule and resolve conflicts identified during the review of public comments. Any additional data and information received as a result of this extension will be posted on the NOAA Fisheries website no later than November 2013. The 6-month extension will help ensure the final listing determinations are based on the best available information. View the published corals 6-month extension notice here. For more information, please visit our Coral page.


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