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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 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.
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 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.
Habitat in Your Neighborhood Event
Saturday November 29, 2014
Habitat in Your Neighborhood Event
Saturday January 31, 2015
10:00am - 2:00pm