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Big drama as Federal Fishery Managers postpone LVPA decision

US Exclusive Economic Zone (in red) around American Samoa.

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —  The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council on Friday delayed final action on an amendment to modify the American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area (LVPA) until its next meeting to be held June 11 to 14, 2018, on Maui.

The amendment would reduce the size of the LVPA to US longline vessels in American Samoa. This fleet has been experiencing economic hardship due to declining catches and increased operating costs. The fleet operates within the US exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around American Samoa, which abuts the EEZs of other countries on all sides and thus is less than 200 nautical miles (nm) from shore. The LVPA currently restricts pelagic fishing vessels larger than 50 feet in length from operating within 50 nm of shore.

Full details on how the Am. Samoa council members voted and what’s behind this action — as well as ASG's role in the voting — in Monday’s edition.