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

Draft National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy available online for review and comment. Comments on the draft will be accepted until December 31, 2014. To view the draft policy and to learn how to share your opinion, please see here.


NOAA Fisheries announces a direct final rule revising the generic name for the Hawaiian monk seal to Neomonachus under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This rule does not change the listing status of the Hawaiian monk seal under the ESA, rather it reflects a technical change to the taxonomic name of the species which has been acknowledged in scientific literature and catalogued in ZooBank the official register for the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. This rule becomes effective January 16, 2015 without further action, unless significant adverse comment is received by December 17, 2014. View the final rule and submit comments here.


NOAA Fisheries publishes a final 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 final rule in the Federal Register and supporting documents here. The final rule is effective December 15, 2014. A copy of the compliance guide for this final rule is available here.


NOAA Fisheries is soliciting competitive applications for the Pacific Islands Region Marine Education and Training Mini-Grant Program. Projects are being solicited to improve communication, education, and training on marine resource issues throughout the region and increase scientific education for marine-related professions among coastal community residents, including indigenous Pacific islanders, Native Hawaiians and other underrepresented groups in the region. Applications are due February 2, 2015. For more information see here.


NOAA Fisheries is soliciting competitive grant proposals from eligible applicants to support the management objectives of three Pacific Marine National Monuments (MNMs): the Marianas Trench MNM, Rose Atoll MNM, and Pacific Remote Islands MNM. NOAA is seeking proposals that for advance monitoring technologies and techniques in the enforcement, surveillance and/or ecological monitoring fields. Applications are due February 3, 2015. For more information see here.


NOAA report finds 2013 U.S. seafood landings and value increased from 2012. For more information see here.


NOAA Fisheries is now accepting applications for the Fiscal Year 2014/2015 Saltonstall-Kennedy competitive grant competition authorized by the Saltonstall-Kennedy Act, commonly known as the S-K fund, provides grants or cooperative agreements for fisheries research and development projects addressing aspects of U.S. fisheries, including, but not limited to, harvesting, processing, marketing, and associated infrastructures. Applications are due December 15, 2014. For more information see here.


NOAA Fisheries is now accepting competitive applications for the fiscal year 2015 Partnerships for Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery and Marine Mammal Response. Projects are being solicited to support specific programmatic activities related to promoting the recovery of endangered Hawaiian monk seals and supporting responses to marine mammal strandings in the main Hawaiian Islands and US Territories. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time, January 20, 2015. More information on the competitive program can be found here.


The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Pacific Islands Region is now accepting applications for the FY15 Marine Turtle Management and Conservation Program. This competitive grant program funds conservation, protection, or management actions supporting recovery of Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed sea turtle species occurring within the Pacific Islands Region (PIR) or aggregations that may be shared between the PIR and other Pacific nations. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time, February 15, 2015. More information on the competitive program can be found here.


NOAA Fisheries issues a permit (79 FR62105) to authorize incidental take of endangered whales by Hawaii deep-set and shallow-set longline fisheries. The permit is 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.  The affected species are the endangered humpback whale, (Megaptera novaeangliae), Central North Pacific stock; sperm whale, (Physeter macrocephalus), Hawaii stock; and false killer whale, (Pseudorca crassidens), Main Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whale (MHI IFKW) stock.

For the associated Final Negligible Impact Determination (NID) see here.


NOAA Fisheries publishes a proposed rule to implement restrictions on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in purse seine fisheries in the western and central Pacific Ocean for 2015. View the proposed rule in the Federal Register and supporting documentation here.


NOAA Fisheries issues an Endangered Species Act Section 7 biological opinion on the continued operation of the Hawaii-based deep-set pelagic longline fishery. After reviewing the current status of ESA-listed humpback whales, sperm whales, MHI insular false killer whale DPS, North Pacific loggerhead DPS, leatherback sea turtles, olive ridley sea turtles, green sea turtles, and the Indo-west Pacific scalloped hammerhead DPS, the environmental baseline for the action area, the effects of the proposed action, and the cumulative effects, it is NMFS' biological opinion that the proposed action is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of these eight species, and since no critical habitat will be adversely affected the action is not likely to destroy or adversely modify designated critical habitat.

For more on NMFS' biological opinion, please see 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 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.


Stay Connected
Announcements & Events

Pacific Islands Regional Planning Body meeting
NOAA Fisheries Pier 38
November 19-20, 2014
9:00am - 4:30pm

Habitat in Your Neighborhood Event
Kapolei Commons
Saturday November 29, 2014
10:00am -12:00pm

Habitat in Your Neighborhood Event
Kahala Mall
Saturday January 31, 2015
10:00am - 2:00pm