Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sylvia Spalding at (808) 522-5341 or   

Federal Managers for Pacific Island Fisheries Meet This Week in Honolulu    
HONOLULU (12 March 2016) The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council convenes March 15 to 17, at Fuller Hall, YWCA, 1040 Richards St., Honolulu. Fishermen, other stakeholders and members of the public are invited to participate in the meeting and decision-making for federally managed fisheries in the offshore waters of Hawai'i, the Territories of American Samoa and Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and US Pacific Remote Island Areas.
Special guests on Tuesday include Sam Rauch,  NOAA Fisheries' Deputy Assistant
Administrator for Regulatory Programs, from
the NMFS headquarters, in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Theodore Peck, head of Community and Government Affairs for Progression. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently announced that it has accepted Progression's application to develop a floating offshore windfarm off the south coast of O'ahu.

As part of the meeting, a Fishers Forum on the Hawai'i bottomfish fishery will be held Tuesday, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Hibiscus Ballroom II, at the Ala Moana Hotel, 410 Atkinson Dr., Honolulu. Fishermen, seafood consumers and retailers and the general public are invited to learn and share their thoughts on the history, science, management and future of this fishery for 'opakapaka, onaga and other prime snapper that are featured as part of Hawai'i regional cuisine. This free, family friendly event features informational booths, door prizes, refreshments, a short video on the way the fishery operates, a panel of experts and public discussion.
For more on the Council meeting, Fishers Forum and complete agendas, go to, email or phone (808) 522-8220. The Council was established by Congress under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976 to manage domestic fisheries operating seaward of State waters around Hawai'i, American Samoa, Guam, the CNMI and the US Pacific Island Remote Island Areas. Recommendations by the Council that are regulatory in nature are transmitted to the Secretary of Commerce for final approval.  
Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council: Appointees by the Secretary of Commerce from nominees selected by American Samoa, CNMI, Guam and Hawai`i governors: Michael Duenas, Guam Fishermen's Cooperative Association (Guam) (vice chair); Edwin Ebisui (Hawai`i) (chair); Michael Goto, United Fishing Agency Ltd. (Hawai`i); John Gourley, Micronesian Environmental Services (CNMI) (vice chair); Julie Leialoha, biologist (Hawai`i); Dr. Claire Tuia Poumele, Port Administration (American Samoa); McGrew Rice, commercial and charter fisherman (Hawai`i) (vice chair); and William Sword, recreational fisherman (American Samoa) (vice chair). Designated state officials: Suzanne Case, Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources; Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga, American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources; Richard Seman, CNMI Department of Lands and Natural Resources; and Matt Sablan, Guam Department of Agriculture. Designated federal officials: Matthew Brown, USFWS Pacific Islands Refuges and Monuments Office;  Michael Brakke, US Department of State; RADM Vincent B. Atkins, US Coast Guard 14th District; and Michael Tosatto, NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office.


A Council authorized by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976

1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI * Tel (808) 522-8220 * Fax (808) 522-8226 *