Fishers forum today

Posted on Mar 27 2023

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is hosting a CNMI Fishers Forum today at the Hibiscus Hall of the Crowne Plaza Resort Saipan, from 6pm to 9pm.

The free forum is for discussing bottomfish—fish that live at or near the bottom of a body of water—in Marianas waters.

Information tables, presentations, demonstrations and more welcomes everyone in the community.

Welcoming remarks will be made by Richard Farrell, Council CNMI Advisory Panel vice chair, at 6pm.

Right after, information tables are open and available from the Division of Environmental Quality of the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality; Sea Turtle Program of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources; DLNR Division of Fish & Wildlife; Division of Coastal Resources Management; bottomfish demo by Tony Guerrero; Micronesian Environmental Services; and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.

Later in the evening at 7pm, opening remarks will be made by John Gourley, council chairman from CNMI.

Presentations will then be made by council staff Joshua DeMello on the “Changes to Managed Bottomfish Species in CNMI”; followed by Tony Guerrero’s “History of Bottomfishing”; Nathan Van Ee from DLNR DFW, on “CNMI Mandatory Data Reporting”; Marlowe Sabater from the National Marine Fisheries Service on “Bottomfish Stock Assessment”; Gourley on “Bottomfish Biosampling”; and Gene Weaver from Tasi to Table.

Public questions and comments are welcome after the presentations.

At around 8:30pm, Guerrero will host a bottomfish training for 12-years-old and up only.

The Fishers Forum is part of the 194th meeting of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, being held today until tomorrow, March 28, 2023, at the same location. For more information:, email or call (671) 483-1904. 

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. Amended in 1996 to prevent overfishing, minimize bycatch, and protect fish stocks and habitat, it is now called the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

Their areas of responsibility are three to 200 miles offshore of Hawaii, Guam, Saipan, and American Samoa. Anything from the shoreline to three miles is for the state to manage. 

The council works with fishermen on fisheries management at the local and community level, with council decisions based on scientific data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at
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