NACO

National Association of Charterboat Operators

WPFMC Meetings

The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold meetings of its 111th Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), Executive and Budget Standing Committee, and 155th Council to take actions on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region.

The meetings will be held from Wednesday, October 24th through Thursday, November 1, 2012. For specific dates, times and agendas, see below.

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Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures for 2012-13

In this rule, NMFS specifies a quota of 325,000 lb of Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands for the 2012-13 fishing year, based on an annual catch limit of 346,000 lb. The action supports the long-term sustainability of Hawaii bottomfish.

The final specifications are effective October 15, 2012 through August 31, 2013, unless NMFS publishes a document in the Federal Register superseding these specifications.

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New Data Collection Will Exempt State's Anglers from National Registry Requirement

The Department of Commerce invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on a new information collection proposed information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

The State of Hawaii is developing a comprehensive data collection program that will meet the requirements set forth at 600CFR 1417 and exempt the State's anglers from the national registry requirement. The information gathered from the proposed voluntary survey of a sample of the State's registered boaters will be used to develop an ongoing (monitoring) survey of fishing catch and effort derived from Hawaii's private boaters--a required component of any qualifying regional survey. The survey instrument will also collect information to inform engagement of and projects aimed at local boat-based anglers under NOAA's National Recreational Saltwater Fishing Initiative.

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Pacific Islands Region Hosts Summit for Recreational Fishermen

On August 21-23, NOAA Fisheries met with Pacific Islands fishermen to identify projects for possible implementation in 2013. Sharing regional and island specific issues, the fishermen generated 21 project ideas which will be integrated into a blueprint of actions to be implemented in 2013 or sooner. Contact Alvin Katekaru This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>; for more information.

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Hawaiian Islands – Global Positioning System (GPS) Testing

A series of GPS tests will be conducted in the vicinity of Kaua'i at various times from 19 Aug 2012 through 09 Sep 2012. 

Mariner’s are advised that, during testing, GPS WILL BE UNRELIABLE AND MAY BE UNAVAILABLE to shipboard and handheld navigation systems, e-911, AIS, DSC, and other position, navigation, and timing systems which rely on GPS signals. 

Testing is scheduled as follows:

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Deep 7 Bottomfish Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures for 2012-13

NMFS proposes to specify a quota (annual catch target) of 325,000 lb of Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands for the 2012-13 fishing year, based on a proposed annual catch limit of 346,000 lb. When the quota is projected to be reached, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish for the remainder of the fishing year. The proposed specifications and fishery closure support the long-term sustainability of Hawaii bottomfish.

Comments must be received by August 17, 2012.

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NOAA Collects 50 Metric Tons of Marine Debris from Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette arrived back in its homeport of Honolulu after a month in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The team of 17 scientists collected nearly 50 metric tons of marine debris, which threatens monk seals, sea turtles and other marine life in the coral reef ecosystem, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). NOAA has conducted annual removal missions of marine debris in the NWHI since 1996 as part of a coral restoration effort.

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Exempted States Registration Requirements

NMFS issues this final rule to amend the regulations that implement section 401(g) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The amendments eliminate duplicative permitting and registration requirements for holders of Main Hawaiian Islands Non-commercial Bottomfish Permits; allow states that exempt minors under the age of 17 from the state license or registration requirements to be eligible for Exempted State designation; allow the U.S. Virgin Islands to be designated as an Exempted State under the qualifying regional survey option of the rule; and clarify and update various provisions of the rule.

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Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Rulemaking To Revise Critical Habitat for Hawaiian Monk Seals

Proposed rule; notice of 6-month extension of the deadline for a final critical habitat determination.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on June 2, 2011, proposing to revise critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and requesting information related to the proposed action. This document announces a 6-month extension of the deadline for a final determination on the proposed rule. Based on comments received during the public comment period, we find that substantial disagreement exists regarding the sufficiency and accuracy of the data and analyses used to support the scope of the proposed critical habitat designation in the Main Hawaiian Islands. Accordingly, we are extending the deadline for the final revision to critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal an additional 6 months to further analyze data and consider concerns raised by State, Federal, and other entities, and better inform our determinations for the final revision of Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat under the ESA.

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Council Approves 15% Cut in Halibut Bycatch

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to reduce the allowable halibut bycatch by trawlers and longliners by 15 percent, to be phased in over three years with a targeted implementation in 2014.

After nearly two days of public comment from about 100 stakeholders at the Harbor Convention Center, the council passed the measure introduced by Dan Hull of Anchorage by a 10-1 vote. Outgoing member Dave Benson of Washington was the lone dissent.

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