Fandom

Fishery Management

Northern Marianas (US)

144pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands Edit

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is made up of a string of 14 islands lying in a north and south direction, with many of the smaller islands uninhabited. The islands lie between 14º and 21º N latitude and 144º 30' and 146º E longitude. The 2002 mid-year population estimate for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is 73,300 people (SPC 2003).

Cnmi

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 777,000 km2, while only having a land area of 471 km2. The commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ EEZ borders two countries, Japan to the north and Guam to the south, although around 60 per cent of the EEZ borders 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 the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana’s (CNMI’s) EEZ has been regulated by the US 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. In 1980, through the CNMI Marine Sovereignty Act, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands, through their constitutional processes, affirmed the Commonwealth’s jurisdiction to explore, exploit, conserve, and manage living and nonliving resources, including fisheries resources, in the EEZ and other waters surrounding the islands.

The local government has also been working with US Federal partners in developing 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 CNMI as provided in the Magnusson-Stevens Re-authorization Act, which allows for the establishment of a Pacific Insular Area Fisheries Agreement (PIAFA) with foreign countries. However, this does not include mineral rights.

Fisheries management of nearshore resources around CNMI 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.

Bottomfish

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 fish

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

Tables one to four 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 Status

There are currently 5 vessels over 15 m in length primarily fishing for deep-water snappers at present.

Small-scale fishermen fish occasionally for these species on an ad hoc basis.

Background


In 1979 very little deep-water snapper fishing took place, with landings of 1-2 t.

Vessel numbers increased to around 102 in 1984, before declining to around 54 in 1986. Landings in 1984 were around 15 t, dropping to around 10 t in 1986.

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.

From 1987 to 1995 the vessel numbers fluctuated between 20 and 42, with annual landing fluctuation between 3 and 18 t.

1996 saw a large increase in the deep-water snapper fishery with vessel numbers increasing to 70 and the landed catch to 24 t. Some larger boats entered the fishery at this time.

Vessel numbers decreased in the late 1990s to 50 before increasing back to 71 in 2001. Landing followed the same trend, declining to 18 t before increasing to 26 t in 2001.

Rural and urban fishing centres Edit

Current Status

Currently there are 4 private companies on Saipan fishing with large vessels, selling their catch on the local market, with one of these companies exporting as well.

Government has a pilot fish market project in the pipeline for Saipan, with land identified for part of the project.

Northern Island Mayor’s Department has a proposal to set up 2 to 4 fishing centres in the outer islands with a collection vessel arrangement to bring the fish to Saipan for marketing.

Background

Not known

Boatbuilding (public and private sector) Edit

Current Status

One company can build boats up to 25 m in length, mainly in wood and fibreglass on a confirmed order basis.

3 private companies can do repair work on wood, steel, aluminium and fibreglass boats to 25 m in length.

Background

Not known

FAD programmes and or deployments Edit

Current Status

Current and ongoing FAD programme with 3 FADs left from the 10 deployed in 2000/2001.

Materials on-island for another 4 FADs, with these to be deployed in early 2004.

Contract has been let to a private operator to do the maintenance of the FADs.

Background

Not known

Public sector development (small-scale tuna fishing) Edit

Current Status

Training programme is being organised for the private sector to encourage the use of mid-water fishing techniques, especially in association with FADs.

Background

In 1989 the Fisheries Department had a consultant come and do some ika-shibi fishing trials, however, this method was not formally introduced to local fishermen.

Private sector development (small-scale tuna fishing) Edit

Current Status

Around 50 small-scale commercial vessels trolling for tuna with another 75 part time operators.

Background

Trolling is the main method used to catch pelagic species, with records going back to the 1970s. In 1982 there were 92 small-scale vessels trolling, with around 90 t of pelagics landed that year.

From 1983 to 1986 the vessels numbers remained basically the same, although the catch fluctuated from 75 to 110 t annually.

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.

From 1988 to 1999, trolling vessel numbers fluctuated from 54 to 114, with 80 to 90 boats operation most years. Landings during these years also fluctuated from 55 to 120 t.

Public sector tuna fishing companies Edit

Current Status

There is no public sector fishing company in CNMI. Government has proposal to do tuna longline fishing trials either using the Fisheries Department boat or charter an longliner from Hawaii.

Private sector development (medium-scale tuna fishing) Edit

Current Status

There is one company with 2 boats that have just been licensed to tuna longline in the CNMI EEZ. The skipper and crew first need to undergo NMFS training on bycatch handling, catch reporting and federal compliance issues.

Background

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.

In 1990 a US tuna longliner operated for 6 months, however, this was not successful and only 12 trips were made.

No other domestic longlining activity has been recorded.

Joint ventures tuna fishing operations Edit

Current Status

There are two joint venture fishing operations in CNMI using larger vessels.

One joint venture is with a Japanese company, trolling for tunas and deep-water snapper fishing, with the catch sold locally.

Second joint venture is with a Korean company, trolling for tunas, shark fishing, and deep-water snapper fishing, with some catch exported to Korea and the rest sold locally.

Background

Larger vessels entered the bottomfish fishery as early as 1992, with these vessels coming in under joint venture arrangements.

From 1994 to 1999, 3 or 4 larger vessels operated each year under joint venture arrangements with local companies.

Sportsfishing and gamefishing Edit

Current Status

There are around 12 charter fishing vessels, mainly on Saipan.

There are another 30 or more sportfishing vessels with regular gamefishing tournaments.

Background

Charter boats have operated in CNMI since the 1980s, mainly to cater to the tourist industry. By 1991 27 charter vessels were registered, with 3 of these being new larger vessels to cater to Japanese tourists.

By 1996 charter vessel numbers increased to 30 before declining again to 27 in 1999. Many of these vessel fish commercially to supplement their charter fishing activities.

Bait fishing trials or activities Edit

Current Status

There is currently no baitfishing activities in CNMI waters. One person is planning to start lift netting for bigeye scad in late 2003.

One person has a proposal in to fishing for squid in the CNMI zone for both bait and human consumption.

Other fishing methods trialled Edit

Current Status

No other nearshore fishing methods are being trialled in the CNMI zone at present.

Background

From 1982 to 1984, eight trips were undertaken to test the deep-water shrimp resource in depths from 300 to 800 m. Yields of 102 to 218 mt were estimated, although no commercial fishing has occurred.

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.
  • Gillett, R. In press. Domestic tuna industry development in the Pacific Islands — the current situation and considerations for future development assistance. FFA Report 03/01, Gillett, Preston and Associates Inc. 196 p.
  • Gillett, R. 2002. Pacific Island fisheries: regional and country information. RAP Publication 2002/13, Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand. 168 p.
  • Moffitt, R. and J. Polovina. 1985. Distribution and yield of the deep-water shrimp resources in the Marianas. Southwest Fisheries Centre Honolulu Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • 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.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.