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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Potential exemptions from new fed rules for commercial fishing eyed

The U.S. Coast Guard has recognized that the new federal safety examination requirements for commercial fishing vessels may be inappropriate for small vessels fishing in the CNMI and other Pacific Islands governed by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.

The requirements would apply to all vessel owners who commercially fish beyond 3 nautical miles offshore, including those who own a USGC-documented commercial fishing vessel.

Charlie Medlicott, USCG Fisheries Enforcement Specialist, presented an overview of the requirements on Oct. 29, the first day of the 155th meeting of the Council, according to a news release. The four-day meeting is being held at the Laniakea YWCA-Fuller Hall in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Council directed its staff to work with the USCG and affected fishermen in the region to identify potential exemptions and equivalencies locally available and appropriate for fishing activities in the area, and work on education and outreach on these issues.

The four-day meeting will also host a Fishers Forum on tuna issues from 6pm to 5pm at the Harbor View Center above Nico’s restaurant at Pier 38 in Honolulu. USCG will also be among the government agencies and organizations that will set up with informational booths to respond to inquiries from fishermen and the general public.

For more information, visit www.wpcouncil.org, email info.wpcouncil@noaa.gov, call (808) 522-8220 or fax (808) 522-8226.

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