Sustainable Fisheries Division

Proposed Rules for Public Comment

  • October 8, 2014. Proposed rule. Restrictions on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in purse seine fisheries for 2015 in the western and central Pacific Ocean. View the proposed rule in the Federal Register and supporting documentation here. Comments on this proposed rule must be submitted in writing by October 28, 2014.

  • August 22, 2014. Proposed rule. Fishing restrictions regarding the oceanic whitetip shark, the whale shark, and the silky shark in the western and central Pacific Ocean. View the proposed rule in the Federal Register and supporting documentation here. Comments on this proposed rule must be submitted in writing by October 6, 2014.

  • July 25, 2014. Proposed rule. Revised 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. Comments on this proposed rule must be submitted in writing by August 25, 2014.

  • July 11, 2014. Advanced notice of proposed rulytemaking (ANPR). NOAA Fisheries is requesting comments on fishing capacity limits in purse seine and longline fisheries in the western and central Pacific Ocean. View the ANPR in the Federal Register and supporting documents here. Comments on this ANPR must be submitted in writing by August 11, 2014.

To find, view, and comment on
rulemaking and supporting documents,
visit: Regulations.gov.

Search the Federal Register

Browse the Code of
Federal Regulations
for fisheries
in the western Pacific.


Recent Final Rules and Notices

For a complete set of regulations go to the CFR.

  • October 24, 2014. Temporary rule; fishery closure. Because the 2014 catch limit of 500 metric tons is expected to be reached, NMFS is closing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna for vessels over 24 m in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This action is necessary to prevent the fishery from exceeding the catch limit established by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. The closure is effective from October 31, 2014, through December 31, 2014. View the Federal Register notice, compliance guide, and other documents here.

  • August 12, 2014. Notice of agency decision. NMFS announces approval of a Marine Conservation Plan for Guam, effective from August 4, 2014, through August 3, 2017. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

  • August 1, 2014. Notice of agency decision. NMFS announces approval of a Marine Conservation Plan for Pacific Insular Areas other than American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, effective from August 4, 2014, through August 3, 2017. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

  • July 25, 2014. Notice of agency decision. NMFS announces approval of a marine conservation plan for the Northern Mariana Islands, effective from August 4, 2014, through August 3, 2017. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

  • April 10, 2014. Notice. NMFS is requesting information about any individual's or company's 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.

  • January 7, 2014. Final Specifications. NMFS specifies the final 2014 annual catch limits for Pacific Island bottomfish, crustacean, precious coral, and coral reef ecosystem fisheries, and accountability measures to correct or mitigate any overages of catch limits. The catch limits and accountability measures support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands. The final specifications are effective February 26, 2014, through December 31, 2014. Read the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

  • January 14, 2014. Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Lobster Harvest Guideline. NMFS establishes the annual harvest guideline for the commercial lobster fishery in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands for calendar year 2014 at zero lobsters. View the Federal Register notice here.

  • November 6, 2013. Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit. NMFS issued a Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit that authorizes Kampachi Farms, LLC, to culture and harvest a coral reef ecosystem management unit fish species in a floating pen in Federal waters west of the Island of Hawaii. This notice informs the public that NMFS prepared an environmental assessment of the potential impacts of the proposed activity, and finds that there will be no significant impact to the environment from the activity. The special coral reef ecosystem fishing permit is effective from October 25, 2013, through October 24, 2014. View the Federal Register notice, final environmental assessment, and finding of no significant impact here.

  • September 27, 2013. Final specifications. Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures for 2013–14. NMFS specifies an annual catch limit of 346,000 lb of Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands for the 2013–14 fishing year. The action supports the long-term sustainability of Hawaii bottomfish. The final specifications are effective October 28, 2013, through August 31, 2014, unless NMFS publishes a document in the Federal Register superseding these specifications. View the Federal Register notice here.

  • September 23, 2013. Final rule. 2013-2014 annual bigeye tuna catch limits for U.S. pelagic longline fisheries in the western and central Pacific Ocean. The final rule is effective October 23, 2013. View the final rule in the Federal Register and supporting documentation here. A copy of the compliance guide for this final rule is available here.

  • Fishing in the Monuments. June 3, 2013. Final rule. NMFS establishes requirements for fishing in the Marianas Trench, Pacific Remote Islands, and Rose Atoll Marine National Monuments. View the rule and supporting documentation here.
    • July 2, 2013. Final rule; NMFS announces approval by the Office of Management and Budget of collection-of-information requirements for fishing in three marine national monuments. This rule is effective. View the rule and supporting documentation here.
    • See the Monuments compliance guide here.

  • May 23, 2013. Final rule. 2013-2014 fishing restrictions and observer requirements for purse seine fisheries in the western and central Pacific Ocean. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documentation here. A copy of the compliance guide for this final rule is available here. Existing turtle mitigation requirements in purse seine fisheries (effective October 2009) can be found here. A copy of the compliance guide for existing turtle mitigation requirements can be found here.

  • May 29, 2013. Final rule. This final rule extends the region-wide moratorium on the harvest of gold corals in the U.S. Pacific Islands through June 30, 2018. NMFS intends this final rule to prevent overfishing and to stimulate research on gold corals. This rule is effective June 28, 2013, through June 30, 2018. View the notice here.

  • December 2012. Final rule. WCPFC transshipping, bunkering, reporting and purse siene discard requirements. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documentation here. A copy of the compliance guide for the 2012 WCPFC transshipping, bunkering, reporting and purse siene discard requirements is available here.

  • October 2012. Final rule. Revised leatherback and North Pacific loggerhead sea turtle interaction limits in the Hawaii shallow-set (swordfish) longline fishery. The new limits are effective November 5, 2012. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documentation here.

  • September 2012. Notice of agency decision. Approval of a marine conservation plan for American Samoa. View the Federal Register notice and plan here.

  • July 2012. Final rule. Revised swordfish trip limits in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery. The new limits are effective August 27, 2012. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documentation here.

  • June 2012. Final rule. American Samoa large vessel prohibited area. Modified boundaries effective July 11, 2012. View the Federal Register notice, including the new boundaries, and supporting documents here.

  • November 2011. Fisheries in the Eastern Pacific Ocean; Pelagic Fisheries; Vessel identification requirements. View the Federal Register notice here.

  • November 2011. Final rule. Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Fishing Restrictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.
    • See the compliance guide here.

  • August 2011. Final rule. American Samoa longline gear modifications to reduce turtle interactions. View the Federal Register notice and Amendment 5 here.

  • June 2011. Final rule. Mechanism for specifying annual catch limits and accountability measures. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

  • June 2011. Final rule. Prohibiting pelagic longline fishing within 30 nm of the Northern Mariana Islands. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documents here.

  • May 2011. Notice. Overfishing of Pacific bluefin tuna. View the Federal Register notice here.

  • January 2011. Final Rule. Procedures to request licenses and a system to allocate licenses under the South Pacific Tuna Treaty. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documentation here.

  • January 2010. Final rule. Initial implementation of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. View the Federal Register notice and supporting documentation here. A copy of the compliance guide for this final rule is available here.