Fisheries must always be monitoring, researching and evaluating the short term and long term sustainability of their fishery which requires leadership, oversight, accountability and a continuous management process that is both adaptive and based upon sound scientific principles.
Sustainable wild seafood comes from responsible fisheries that are managed for sustainability.
Comparison of Federal and State Fishery Management
Primary Agencies (Federal)
NOAA Fisheries (Pacific Islands Region)
Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC)
Primary Agencies (State of Hawaii)
Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR)
Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR)
Fishing outside of state waters from 3 – 200 nautical miles lies within US EEZ. Beyond 200 nautical miles, Hawaiian Flaship vessels will always comply with federal and international regulations under (2) Regional Fishery Management Organizations: WCPFC & IATTC.
Jurisdiction (State of Hawaii)
Fishing within State marine waters. Starts from the Hawaiian Shoreline out to (3) nautical miles.
Overarching Mandate (Federal)
Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA)
Overarching Mandate (State of Hawaii)
Description of role included in State constitution
Fishery Council (Federal)
WPRFMC is the Regional Council established by MSA that manages fisheries in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and Northern Mariana Islands.
Fishery Council (State of Hawaii)
There is not one.
Fishery Management Plan (Federal)
Fishery Management Plans (FMP) are required by Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). A Fishery Management Plan is considered to be a “living” document detailing the fishery, as well as existing and proposed management actions that have been vetted through the Council Process.
Fishery Management Plan (State of Hawaii)
How are Regulations Established? (Federal)
The Council Process is responsible for continually maintaining as well as amending the Fishery Management Plan (FMP in response to new sciences, techniques, studies and/or changes in the fishery. Substantial Scientific as well as diverse stakeholder input, studies and feedback is mandated to inform the Council in a public forum and process. Any Proposed legislation or regulations must first be reviewed by NOAA and then ultimately approved by the US Secretary of Commerce.
How are Regulations Established? (State of Hawaii)
There are only two ways Fishing Regulations are established in the Hawaiian Islands and they are: 1) The Administrative Rules process allows for the Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR) to create, vet and propose new regulations to be reviewed and adopted by the Lt. Governor. 2) The State Legislative process allows new fishing legislation or regulations to be proposed, vetted and adopted by the State House of Representative and also the Senate and then it must be signed by the Governor. This second pathway sounds similar, but it does not require any of the DLNRs input.
Fishery Management System (Optimized)
- Must have a Fishery Management Plan
- Sustainable catch limits and stock level set by established reference points
- Scientific Advice is regularly received
- Monitoring and Control Policies and Procedures are effective
- Responsive Correction Management Actions when necessary
- Destructive Fishing Methods are not used or forbidden
- Bycatch (Discards) are always minimized
- Ecosystem issues addressed
- Continuous Improvement Process embedded throughout management
Seafood Regulation and Federal Management in Hawaii
Fishery Scientists (NOAA-PIFSC and others)
Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC)
Fishery Regulations (NOAA Headquarters, NOAA-PIRO)
Fishery -> Fish Distribution -> Fish Consumption
The Hawaiian Islands have a well managed fish stock and Ecosystem, maybe more importantly a highly regulated and monitored Longline Fishing Industry, that feeds directly into the Honolulu Fish Market Auction and its wholesalers (quality matters), and then ultimately on to the Retailers and end consumers.
Environmental Non-Government Organizations (NGO)
Serve an oversight purpose as they sometimes take legal action against regulators on the front end of the supply chain or they may choose to try and persuade Retailers and their Consumer customers at the tail end of the supply chain. All of the legal actions taken by NGO’s in the end works out to be a strong form accountability.