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High Seas Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries

Current Classification on the 2017 LOF

Gear Type  Longline (deep-set), Purse seine, Longline (shallow-set), Handline/pole and line, Troll
Category Category I - longline (HI deep-set);
Category II - purse seine, longline (HI shallow-set), handline/pole and line, troll
Estimated Number of Participants  Longline (deep-set) - 139;
Purse seine - 3;
Longline (shallow-set) - 20;
Handline/pole and line - 2;
Troll - 17
Target Species tunas (albacore, bigeye, yellowfin, bluefin, and skipjack), billfish (Indo-Pacific blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, shortbill spearfish), sharks (pelagic thresher, bigeye thresher, common thresher, silky, oceanic whitetip, blue, shortfin mako, longfin mako, and salmon), swordfish, sailfish, wahoo, kawakawa, moonfish, pomfret, oilfish, and other tuna relatives.
Applicable Take Reduction Plans Longline gear used in this fishery is subject to the False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan
Observer Coverage § Observer coverage for the Category I ‘‘HI deep-set (tuna target) longline fishery’’ (exceeded 20% from 2001-2008) and the Category II “HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline fishery” (mandatory 100% coverage since 2004) fisheries operating in U.S. waters extends into the high seas.  Observer data are not available for all other gear types used in the high seas Western Pacific Pelagic fisheries.
Marine Mammal Species/Stocks Killed or Injured Longline (HI deep-set) *: Bottlenose dolphin, HI Pelagic; False killer whale, HI; Pygmy killer whale, HI; Risso’s dolphin, HI; Short-finned pilot whale, HI; Sperm whale, HI; Striped dolphin, HI
Purse seine:  Undetermined
Longline (HI shallow-set) †: Blainville's beaked whale, HI; Bottlenose dolphin, HI Pelagic; False killer whale, HI Pelagic; Humpback whale, Central North Pacific; Risso’s dolphin, HI; Rough-toothed dolphin, HI; Short-beaked common dolphin, CA/OR/WA; Short-finned pilot whale, HI; Striped dolphin, HI
Handline/pole and line/Pole and line:  Undetermined
Troll:  Undetermined

* The observer program for the Category I “HI deep-set (tuna target) longline fishery” operating in U.S waters extends into the high seas; therefore, information is available on which marine mammal stocks are incidentally taken by this fishery on the high seas. The marine mammal stocks listed here have been observed killed or injured in the high seas component of this fishery.

The observer program for the Category II “HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline fishery” operating in U.S waters extends into the high seas: therefore, information is available on which marine mammal stocks are incidentally taken by this fishery on the high seas. The marine mammal stocks listed here have been observed killed or injured in the high seas component of this fishery.

The number of vessels and participants operating in the Western Pacific Pelagic High Seas fishery do not necessarily represent additional fishers than those accounted for in fisheries operating within U.S. waters. Many fishers holding Western Pacific Pelagic high seas fishing permits also fish within U.S. waters and are included in the numbers of estimated vessels and participants operating within those fisheries. The number of participants listed represents only the number of permits for the high seas component of the fishery.

§ Observer coverage levels include the latest information reported in the most current final Stock Assessment Report (SAR).

1 Indicates the stock or species is driving the classification of the fishery 

Note: Current classification based on final LOF, no proposed changes are reflected in this table.

Basis for Current Classification

The HI deep-set longline component of this high seas fishery is classified as a Category I because it is an extension of the Category I “HI deep-set (tuna target) longline fishery” operating within U.S. waters, and is not a separate fishery.  The gear used, fishing methods, and target species are the same, and longline vessels targeting Western Pacific Pelagic species regularly cross into the high seas, and back, when fishing.

The HI shallow-set longline component of this high seas fishery is classified as a Category I because it is an extension of the Category II “HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline fishery” operating within U.S. waters, and is not a separate fishery.  The gear used, fishing methods, and target species are the same, and longline vessels targeting Western Pacific Pelagic species regularly cross into the high seas, and back, when fishing.  

All other gear components of this high seas fishery are classified as Category II due to the lack of specific information on marine mammal abundance and interactions with fisheries on the high seas.   

Distribution

The high seas Western Pacific Pelagic fisheries take place in the Western Pacific Fishery Management Area (including waters shoreward of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary around American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, Midway, Johnston and Palmyra Atolls, Kingman Reef, and Wake, Jarvis, Baker, and Howland Islands) and the adjacent high seas waters. The high seas components of the Western Pacific Pelagic longline fishery are extensions of the Category I ‘‘HI deep-set (tuna target) longline/set line fishery’’ and the Category II ‘‘HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline/set line fishery.”

Gear Description

The high seas Western Pacific pelagic fisheries are virtually the same as fisheries targeting Western Pacific pelagic species in U.S. waters. The main gears used to fish in the high seas Western Pacific Pelagic fisheries are pelagic longline, troll, and handline/pole and line.

Management

Both a Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and a High Seas Fishing Compliance Act (HSFCA) permit are required to fish in CCAMLR waters. The high seas Western Pacific Pelagic fisheries are managed under regulations implementing the Fishery Management Plan for the Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region developed by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (WPFMC). The MSA regulations (50 CFR 665, subpart C) address target fish species as well as bycatch of species protected under the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The MSA regulations outline restrictions on effort, observer coverage requirements, longline fishing prohibited areas, sea turtle and seabird bycatch mitigation measures, annual fleetwide limits on interactions with leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles, and a requirement for owners of longline vessels to participate in annual protected species workshops. Drift gillnet fishing in the fishery management area is prohibited, except where authorized by an experimental fishery permit. All requirements for vessels fishing longline gear within U.S. waters remain effective in high seas waters.

 

Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) Category I - longline (deep-set); Category II - longline (shallow-set), trawl, purse seine, pot, handline/pole and line, troll, liners not elsewhere identified, factory mothership, multipurpose vessels, and fishing vessels not elsewhere identified. (2009)
Original Number of Participants Longline (deep-set)- 129; Longline (shallow-set)- 28; Trawl- 11; Purse seine- 4; Pot- 8; Handline/pole and line/Pole and line- 8; Troll- 44; Liners not elsewhere identified- 2; Factory mothership- 1; Multipurpose vessels- 7; Fishing vessels not elsewhere identified- 2.
Basis for Original Classification The deep-set longline component of this high seas fishery was classified as a Category I because it is an extension of the Category I “HI deep-set (tuna target) longline fishery” operating within U.S. waters, and not a separate fishery. The gear used, fishing methods, and target species are the same, and longline vessels targeting Western Pacific Pelagic species regularly cross into the high seas, and back, when fishing.
The shallow-set longline component of this high seas fishery was classified as a Category I because it is an extension of the Category II “HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline fishery” operating within U.S. waters, and not a separate fishery. The gear used, fishing methods, and target species are the same, and longline vessels targeting Western Pacific Pelagic species regularly cross into the high seas, and back, when fishing.
All other gear components of this high seas fishery are classified as Category II, the appropriate classification for new fisheries on the LOF for which there is little information on which to base a classification, due to the lack of specific information on marine mammal abundance and interactions with fisheries on the high seas.
Past Names N/A
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list)  

 

Timeline of Changes

2012
  • Longline (deep-set):
    o Changed name of fishery from “Western Pacific pelagic (deep-set component) longline” to “Western Pacific pelagic (HI deep-set component) longline” to more clearly reflect that there is one HI-based deep-set longline fishery that operates both within the U.S. EEZ and on the high seas.
    o Added Blainville’s beaked whale (unknown stock), bottlenose dolphin (unknown stock), Pantropical spotted dolphin (unknown stock), Risso’s dolphin (unknown stock), short-finned pilot whale (unknown stock), and striped dolphin (unknown stock), to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in the fishery. The addition of these stocks do not represent additional takes for these stocks; instead, NMFS added the “unknown” stocks to as an acknowledgement of uncertainty in the stock identification for species of marine mammals taken by this fishery outside of the U.S. EEZ (i.e., on the high seas). In the 2011 LOF, NMFS made several changes to the stocks listed as taken in this fishery because the 2010 SAR noted that the HI pelagic stocks include animals found both within the U.S. EEZ around the Hawaiian Islands and in adjacent high seas. However, the stock boundaries are unknown. Therefore, this fishery may be taking animals from the HI pelagic stocks, or from unknown, undefined stocks beyond the range of the HI pelagic stocks.
    o Estimated number of participants was updated from 127 to 124.
  • Longline (shallow-set):
    o Changed name of fishery from “Western Pacific pelagic (shallow-set component) longline” to “Western Pacific pelagic (HI shallow-set component) longline” to more clearly reflect that there is one HI-based shallow-set longline fishery that operates both within the U.S. EEZ and on the high seas.
    o Added bottlenose dolphin (unknown stock), Byrde’s whale (unknown stock), Kogia spp. whale (unknown stock), Risso’s dolphin (unknown stock), and striped dolphin (unknown stock), to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in the fishery. The addition of these stocks do not represent additional takes for these stocks; instead, NMFS added the “unknown” stocks to as an acknowledgement of uncertainty in the stock identification for species of marine mammals taken by this fishery outside of the U.S. EEZ (i.e., on the high seas). In the 2011 LOF, NMFS made several changes to the stocks listed as taken in this fishery because the 2010 SAR noted that the HI pelagic stocks include animals found both within the U.S. EEZ around the Hawaiian Islands and in adjacent high seas. However, the stock boundaries are unknown. Therefore, this fishery may be taking animals from the HI pelagic stocks, or from unknown, undefined stocks beyond the range of the HI pelagic stocks.
  • Pot: Estimated number of participants was updated from 7 to 3.
  • Handline/pole and line: Estimated number of participants was updated from 10 to 8.
  • Multipurpose: Estimated number of participants was updated from 5 to 4.
  • Trawl: Estimated number of participants was updated from 3 to 1.
  • Troll: Estimated number of participants was updated from 40 to 32.
2011
  • Longline (deep-set):
    o Added false killer whale (HI stock) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in the fishery. The draft 2010 SAR clarifies that this stock includes animals found both within the Hawaiian Islands EEZ and in adjacent international waters. Also, six serious injuries and one non-serious injury of false killer whales were observed in this fishery outside of U.S. EEZs from 2004 - 2008
    o Changed stock name of Pantropical spotted dolphin from "unknown" to "HI." The draft 2010 SAR clarifies that this stock includes animals found both within the Hawaiian Islands EEZ and in adjacent international waters. Also, one Pantropical spotted dolphin was observed incidentally killed in this fishery on the high seas in 2008.
    o Changed stock name of bottlenose dolphin from "HI" to "HI Pelagic". The draft 2010 SAR clarifies that this stock includes animals found both within the Hawaiian Islands EEZ and in adjacent international waters.
    o Estimated number of participants was updated from 129 to 127.
  • Longline (shallow-set):
    o Added striped dolphin (HI) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in the fishery. The draft 2010 SAR clarifies that this stock includes animals found both within the Hawaiian Islands EEZ and in adjacent international waters. Also, one striped dolphin was observed seriously injured in 2008, in waters outside of U.S. EEZs.
    o Added Kogia sp. whale (HI) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in the fishery. The draft 2010 SAR clarifies that this stock includes animals found both within the Hawaiian Islands EEZ and in adjacent international waters. Also, one Kogia spp. whale was observed non-seriously injured in 2008, in waters outside of U.S. EEZs.
    o Changed stock names of bottlenose dolphins from "unknown" to "HI." This fishery is an extension of the Category II “HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline/set line” fishery operating within the U.S. EEZ. Since this fishery remains the same and many marine mammals species are found on either side of the EEZ boundary, the list of species/stocks incidentally killed or injured in the high seas component of the fishery is identical to the list of species/stocks killed or injured in the component operating in U.S. waters.
    o Changed stock name of Bryde's whale from "unknown" to "HI." This fishery is an extension of the Category II “HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline/set line” fishery operating within the U.S. EEZ. Since this fishery remains the same and many marine mammals species are found on either side of the EEZ boundary, the list of species/stocks incidentally killed or injured in the high seas component of the fishery is identical to the list of species/stocks killed or injured in the component operating in U.S. waters.
    o Changed stock name of Risso's dolphin from "unknown" to "HI." This fishery is an extension of the Category II “HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline/set line” fishery operating within the U.S. EEZ. Since this fishery remains the same and many marine mammals species are found on either side of the EEZ boundary, the list of species/stocks incidentally killed or injured in the high seas component of the fishery is identical to the list of species/stocks killed or injured in the component operating in U.S. waters.
    o Removed sperm whale (stock unknown) from the list of species/stocks killed/injured in the fishery. There have been no documented takes of sperm whales in this fishery in the last 5 years, under 100 percent observer coverage. This fishery is an extension of the Category II “HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline/set line” fishery operating within the U.S. EEZ. Since this fishery remains the same and many marine mammals species are found on either side of the EEZ boundary, the list of species/stocks incidentally killed or injured in the high seas component of the fishery is identical to the list of species/stocks killed or injured in the component operating in U.S. waters.
  • Trawl: Estimated number of participants was updated from 4 to 3.
  • Handline/pole and line: Estimated number of participants was updated from 9 to 10.
  • Troll: Estimated number of participants was updated from 44 to 40.
2010
  • Longline (deep-set):
  • Changed stock name of false killer whale from "HI" to "unknown." The stock definition in the Stock Assessment Report (SAR) is based only on animals found within the U.S. EEZ; therefore, the recorded takes of false killer whales on the high seas are from an undefined stock.
  • Added Pantropical spotted dolphin (stock unknown) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery. This fishery is an extension of the fishery operating in U.S. waters (and not a separate fishery), in which one Pantropical spotted dolphin was observed killed in 2008.
  • Removed spinner dolphin (HI) from the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery. This fishery is a extension of the fishery operating in U.S. waters (and not a separate fishery),, in which there have been no observed interactions in the past 5 years.
  • Longline (shallow-set):
  • Removed Pantropical spotted dolphin (stock unknown) from the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery. This fishery is a component/extension of the fishery operating in U.S. waters (and not a separate fishery), in which there have been no observed interactions in the past 5 years.
  • Trawl: Estimated number of participants was updated from 11 to 4.
  • Purse seine: Estimated number of participants was updated from 4 to 3.
  • Pot: Estimated number of participants was updated from 8 to 7.
  • Handline/pole and line: Estimated number of participants was updated from 8 to 9.
  • Liners not elsewhere identified: Estimated number of participants was updated from 2 to 1.
  • Multipurpose vessels: Estimated number of participants was updated from 7 to 5.
  • Fishing vessels not elsewhere identified fishery: Removed from the LOF. The HSFCA permit for this fishery expired and was not renewed.


 

Updated December 14, 2016