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Guam is a single high island located at the end of the Mariana Archipelago at 13º 26' N latitude and 144º 43' E longitude. The mid-year 2002 population estimate for Guam was 159,900 people (SPC 2003).

Guam

Exclusive economic zoneEdit

Guam has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of around 218,000 km2, while having a land area of around 541 km2. Guam’s EEZ borders two Pacific nations, the Federated States of Micronesia to the south and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to the north, with around 25 per cent of the EEZ bordering international waters.


(The original of this text was transferred, with the permission of SPC, from the original SPC technical report by Lindsay Chapman in 2004, and was compiled from interviews with island fishery managers and fishers. However, please feel free to make corrections to this Wikicity text if you have more accurate or more up-to-date information)

Management of fisheries Edit

The development and management of the marine resources within Guam’s EEZ has been regulated by the U.S. Government over the last 50 years. Fisheries management is driven through the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council in response to the Magnusson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act under the US Congress. However, the Government of Guam also claims legal jurisdiction under 1 Guam Code Annotated. The local government has also been working with U.S. Federal partners in develop a management plan that will allow the transfer of oversight of the natural resources and any revenue generated from activities within the EEZ to the Government of Guam.

Fisheries development and management is also covered under Guam’s National Development Strategy

Fisheries management of nearshore resources around Guam is conducted through the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Through the Council, two fishery management plans have been implemented, one for the deep-water snapper resource and the other for pelagic species. These management plans cover Hawaii, and the three US territories of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.

BottomfishEdit

Combined fishery management plan, environmental assessment and regulatory impact review for the bottomfish and seamount groundfish fishery management plan of the Western Pacific region (Anon. 1986)

This plan was implemented in August 1986 (Anon 1986) and has been amended nine times over the years to take account of changing circumstances in all or part of the fishery being covered. The plan has the following objectives:

  1. Protect against overfishing and maintain the long-term productivity of bottomfish stocks;
  2. Improve the database for future decisions through data reporting requirements and cooperative Federal/State/Territory data collection programmes;
  3. Provide for consistency in Federal/State/Territory bottomfish management to ensure effective management across the range of the fisheries;
  4. Protect bottomfish stocks and habitat from environmentally-destructive fishing activities and enhance habitat if possible;
  5. Maintain existing opportunities for rewarding fishing experiences by small-scale commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishermen, including native Pacific islanders;
  6. Maintain consistent availability of high quality products to consumers;
  7. Maintain a balance between harvest capacity and harvestable fishery stocks to prevent over-capitalization;
  8. Avoid the taking of protected species and minimise possible adverse modifications to their habitat;
  9. Restore depleted groundfish stocks and to provide the opportunity for US fishermen to develop new domestic fisheries for seamount groundfish which will displace foreign fishing; and
  10. Monitor stock recovery of depleted stocks in the Fisheries Conservation Zone so that any international plan of action for managing the common resource can be guided by experimental results.

Pelagic fishEdit

The pelagic fishery management plan of the Western Pacific region

This plan was implemented in March 1987 and has been amended (WPRFMC 2003). The current objectives of the plan are as follows.

  1. To manage fisheries for management unit species in the Western Pacific region to achieve optimum yield;
  2. To promote, within the limits of managing optimum yield, domestic harvest of the management unit species in the Western Pacific region EEZ and domestic fishery values associated with these species, for example, by enhancing the opportunities for:
    1. satisfying recreational fishing experiences;
    2. continuation of traditional fishing practice for non-market personal consumption and cultural benefits; and
    3. domestic commercial fishermen, including charter boat operations, to engage in profitable fishing operations.
  3. To diminish gear conflict in the EEZ, particularly in areas of concentrated domestic fishing.
  4. To improve the statistical base for conducting better stock assessments and fishery evaluations, thus supporting fishery management and resource conservation in the EEZ and throughout the range of the management unit species.
  5. To promote the formation of a regional or international arrangement for assessing and conserving the management unit species and tunas throughout their range.
  6. To preclude waste of management unit species associates with longline, purse seine, pole-and-line or other fishing operations.
  7. To promote, within the limits of managing at optimum yield, domestic marketing of the management unit species in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and Hawaii.

Development Status of Fisheries (2004) Edit

The following sections summarise the current status with background information on domestic development in the nearshore fisheries, in a range of areas. The main focus is on developments in the tuna fishery, both public and private sector, as this is where most effort has and is being directed. The tables provide a snapshot based on the information available at the time.


Deepwater snapper fishing Edit

Current statusEdit

Deep-water snapper fishing is conducted on an ad hoc basis by around 180 small-scale vessels fishing around Guam.

Less that 20 small-scale vessels would target deep-water snapper when the local weather conditions permit.

Background Edit

Deep-water snapper data is available from 1979, when around 2 t of fish was recorded.

Fishery expanded in 1983 with 32 vessels reporting landing of around 14 t in total. Fleet expanded to 47 vessels in 1985, although the landings dropped to around 10 t. Further declines in 1986, with 38 vessels landing around 6 t. Note that these vessels only fished part-time for deep-water snappers.

Management plan implemented in August 86 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which covered Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

In the late 1980s catches went up to around 15 t annually, with around 110 boats fishing

During the early to mid 1990s the landed catch of deep-water species increased to 30 to 40 t with vessel numbers increasing to 167 in 1992, 266 in 1993 and 346 in 1995.

Catches continued to increase in the late 1990s and early 2000s to 50 to 60 t, with vessel numbers fluctuating from a high of 411 in 1999 to 337 in 2001.


Rural and urban fishing centres Edit

Current statusEdit

Main centre is the Guam Fishermen’s Cooperative, which most fishermen sell their fish.

Several other small vendors for fish around Guam.

Four private sector ice making facilities, 2 main ones where fishermen collect their ice and 2 smaller ones that deliver ice to the boat.

Background Edit

Boatbuilding (public and private sector) Edit

Current statusEdit

One small boatyard building fibreglass vessels less that 7 m in length. Drydocking facilities available but very expensive.

Local fishermen hire a crane to lift their vessel out to work on them.

Facilities available for repairs on all types of boats, wood, fibreglass, aluminium and steel.

Background Edit

FAD programmes and or deployments Edit

Current statusEdit

Currently 16 FADs on station around Guam up to 20 nm offshore in set locations approved by the Coast Guard.

Regular maintenance carried out on the FADs and lost FADs are generally replaced within 2 weeks.

Background Edit

Public sector development (small-scale tuna fishing) Edit

Current statusEdit

No public sector small-scale tuna fishing activities.

Background Edit

Private sector development (small-scale tuna fishing) Edit

Current statusEdit

As with deep-water snapper fishing, around 180 local small-scale vessel troll around the FADs and open water for tunas and other pelagics.

A few boats would also mid-water handline for tunas around FADs or off the corners of banks.

Around 20 to 30 boats full-time fishing, with trolling making up around 90% of their fishing time.

Background Edit

Trolling for tunas and other pelagics goes back a long way off Guam. In 1980 there were around 115 vessels operating, landing around 240 t of pelagics.

During the 1980s, vessel numbers fluctuated and reached a high of 282 vessels in 1989. The landings also fluctuated during this time (190 to 350 t).

Management plan (pelagics) implemented in March 1987 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which covered Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

During the 1990s vessel numbers fluctuated from 332 to 469, with the landed catch fluctuating from 240 t (1992) to 430 t (1996). The 1999 landing was 287 t. Basically all of the catch was taken by trolling and includes charter boat operations.


Public sector tuna fishing companies Edit

Current statusEdit

No public sector tuna fishing companies.

Background Edit

Private sector development (medium-scale tuna fishing) Edit

Current statusEdit

No domestic medium-scale tuna fishing operations partly due to the fact that there is a 50 nm exclusion zone around Guam and that there is no export of domestically caught tunas.

Foreign vessels tranship their catch through Guam, but the fish is not taken in the Guam EEZ.

Background Edit

Management plan (pelagics) implemented in March 1987 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which covered Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Two US tuna longliners were licensed to fish Guam’s EEZ in 1991, although neither vessel actually fished.

No other records of domestic tuna longlining activity have been located.


Joint ventures tuna fishing operations Edit

Current statusEdit

No joint venture tuna fishing operations in Guam.

Background Edit

Sportsfishing and gamefishing Edit

Current statusEdit

Around 25 charter boats operation out of Guam, mainly to cater to the tourist trade, with trolling making up 90% of their charter activities.

No actual gamefishing club, although there is an annual international tournament plus 2 or 3 local derbies annually.

Background Edit

Charter operations have operated on Guam since the 1970s, mainly to cater to the needs of Japanese tourists.

During the 1980s and 1990s it was estimated that around 7% of the troll fleet were charter vessels. This equated to around 8 vessels in 1980 increasing to around 34 charter boats in 1996.


Bait fishing trials or activities Edit

Current statusEdit

No baitfishing trials or activities undertaken at present.

The aquaculture of milkfish for live tuna longline bait has greatly reduced with only small quantities currently produced.

Background Edit

Other fishing methods trialled Edit

Current statusEdit

No other nearshore fishing methods being trialled or used at present

Background Edit

References Edit

  • Anon 2003. Bottomfish and seamount groundfish fisheries of the Western Pacific region – 2001 Annual Report. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Anon 2001. Pelagic fisheries of the Western Pacific region – 1996 Annual Report. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Anon 1997. Pelagic fisheries of the Western Pacific region – 1999 Annual Report. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Anon 1996. Bottomfish and seamount groundfish fisheries of the Western Pacific region – 1995 Annual Report. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Anon 1992. Pelagic fisheries of the Western Pacific region – 1991 Annual Report. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Anon 1991. Bottomfish and seamount groundfish fisheries of the Western Pacific region – 1990 Annual Report. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Honolulu, Hawaii. 85 p.
  • Anon 1990. Pelagic fisheries of the Western Pacific region – 1989 Annual Report. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Honolulu, Hawaii. 73 p.
  • Anon. 1988. 1986 Annual Report for the fishery management plan for the bottomfish and seamount groundfish fisheries of the Western Pacific region. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Honolulu, Hawaii. 76 p plus appendices.
  • Anon. 1986. Combined fishery management plan, environmental assessment and regulatory impact review for the bottomfish and seamount groundfish fisheries of the western Pacific region. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Crossland, J. and R. Grandperrin. 1979. Fisheries Directory of the South Pacific Commission region. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia.
  • Dalzell, P. and G. Preston. 1992. Deep reef slope fishery resources of the South Pacific — a summary and analysis of the dropline fishing survey data generated by the activities of the SPC Fisheries Programme between 1974 and 1988. Inshore Fisheries Research Project, Technical Document No. 2, South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 299 p.
  • SPC. 2003. Population statistics provided by the Demography Section of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia.
  • Whitelaw, W. 2001. Country guide to gamefishing in the western and central Pacific. Oceanic Fisheries Programme, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia. 112 p.
  • WPRFMC. 2003. Regulatory Amendment 4 to the pelagic fishery management plan of the Western Pacific region. Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Honolulu, Hawaii. 57 p plus attachments.

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