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What We Do: The Hawaii Longline Association
- Provides information and support to its members on conservation and management issues and regulations.
- Works with industry and government to ensure that fishery controls and regulations are consistent with sound science and are the least burdensome necessary to conserve the stocks on which the fishery depends.
- Works with members to facilitate adoption of necessary gear and fishing practices to comply with regulations.
- Participates in international fishery meetings to ensure that the Hawaii fishery is able to access fishery resources at the level necessary to sustain the economic values of the fishery and the jobs of those dependent on it.
- Develop partnerships with other entities to ensure that the public understands the values of the fishery and supports our efforts to maintain a healthy fishery based on sustainable fishing practices.
- Provide information to members to address fishery operations and enforcement issues as well as to promote sound fish handling and marketing.
- Work with the United Fishing Agency to facilitate a smooth transitioning from landings to sales.
- Takes action on behalf of its members as necessary to ensure that their legal rights are protected from inappropriate or unnecessary regulations or controls.
HLA and the Fishery Management Process
The basic law under which U.S. fisheries (including the Hawaii longline fishery) are managed is the Magnuson-Stevens Act (sometimes called the Sustainable Fisheries Act or similar titles). This Act, passed in 1976 and amended many times since, established 8 regional fishery management councils, including the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (Council or WPRFMC). The Council has primary responsibility for development of fishery management plans, which set the principal rules for where, when, how much, and how fishing can be conducted in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Fisheries that extend into international waters but rely on domestic ports can also be regulated under an FMP. Fishery management plans (FMPs) are submitted to the Secretary of Commerce, who (through the National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS) promulgates regulations following approval of the plans. The Council membership includes officials of NMFS and of State and Territory agencies, as well as private citizens appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. The Council has subsidiary bodies, including an advisory panel (made up of industry and environmental representatives charged with providing practical advice on management issues) and a Scientific and Statistical Committee (charged with ensuring that the Council has considered the best scientific information available in development of FMPs). HLA members have served at different times as Council members and as advisors, and have worked with the Council in identification of management problems and in proposing and analyzing alternative ways to solve those problems. HLA has been pleased by the Council's giving full consideration to industry views in addressing problems and supporting science-based and effective management as necessary and appropriate to deal with problems with minimal harm to the fishery. HLA also appreciates the Council's efforts to ensure that the U.S. negotiators to the regional fishery management organizations' meetings fully consider and support fair and equitable allocations and other decisions that will maintain the Hawaii longline fishery. HLA looks forward to continuing its strong collaboration with the Council in the future.