29 Jul 2009

Offshore fishing could be allowed near monuments in Hawaii

3:25 pm on 29 July 2009

Offshore fishing could be allowed around the Marianas Trench Monument in Hawaii and within the Pacific Marine National Monuments if a recommendation by scientists is approved.

A meeting of the Scientific and Statistical Committee or SSC of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council ended recently in Hawaii.

Scientist at the gathering say they have finalised a suite of recommendations, which are being reviewed by the council's Standing Committee.

The SSC said approved fisheries operating within the Pacific Remote Island Areas, Rose Atoll, and Islands Unit of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monuments should be allowed to sell their catches at not-for-profit prices.

The SSC also recommended mandatory federal permitting and catch reporting to monitor all fishing activities in the monuments.

It further recommends that Guam and CNMI representation be included on the Advisory Council for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.

The council was established by Congress to manage fisheries in the exclusive economic zone around Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the CNMI and the U.S. Pacific remote islands areas.

Decisions made by the Council are transmitted to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for final approval.