16 Apr 2008

Purse seine fishing restricted off Guam and CNMI

3:37 pm on 16 April 2008

The advisory body responsible for managing fishing in U.S. waters in the Western Pacific has voted to prohibit purse seine fishing in federal waters off Guam and the Northern Mariana islands.

Purse seine fishing trawlers use massive nets which have a major impact on the environment.

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is concerned that the purse seiners will deplete local fish stocks, particularly skipjack and yellowfin tuna.

In 2006, vessels caught a record 1.3 million metric tons of skipjack tuna in the Western and Central Pacific, with 85 percent taken by purse seine vessels.

The fishing method is to be banned from around Guam and the Northern Marianas, while off American Samoa the purse seiners will not be about to fish within 75 nautical miles of the coast.