Projects to develop fisheries topped the list of needs identified by fishermen from Hawai’i, American Samoa, Guam and the CNMI during a recent meeting in Honolulu.
The group, which constitutes the advisory panel (AP) of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, also highlighted the importance of fishing to the communities of each of the island areas. They said that the social and economic value of the local and regional fisheries needs to better communicated.
The meeting was March 15 and 16 at YWCA Fuller Hall.
“The council welcomes the ideas and contributions of the Advisory Panel,” said council chair Archie Soliai. “This is a challenging time for fisheries, and the AP has a lot of work to do.”
The council will consider the AP recommendations when it meets Thursday.
Included among the suggested projects and activities from the AP are fishery demonstration projects; expanded use of technology to collect fishery data; characterization of existing fisheries in Hawai’i; and improved fishing opportunities in Guam and the CNMI through improved fish aggregation devices, fishery access and reduction of shark depredation.
AP members include representatives from diverse fisheries, including spearfish, longline, bottomfish, charter boat, subsistence and the fishery media. The AP is mandated by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.