A new fishery rule that the federal government is moving to implement is expected to deal another financial blow to the US purse seiner fleet, which is already faced with stiff competition from foreign vessels such as the Chinese fleet, who are subsidized by their government, China.
US National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) has proposed a rule which would require Observers to be on board US purse seiners fishing in the western and central Pacific ocean (WCPO).
The proposal was issued last week under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act. It is a three-pronged proposed rule, which includes a move to establish restrictions in 2016 and 2017 on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) by U.S. purse seine vessels in the WCPO; and to establish limits in 2016 and 2017 on the amount of bigeye tuna that may be captured by U.S. longline vessels in the WCPO.
According to NMFS, this longline vessel big eye tuna proposal would not apply to American Samoa and the other two US Pacific territories, as they have their own federal programs.