Longline permit applications for territory now open

The U.S. National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) is now accepting applications for Class A (vessels up to 40’ long) and Class D (vessels 70’ long ) for the American Samoa longline permits with deadline set for June 22.

NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO) spokesman Walter Ikehara told Samoa News this week that four Class A permits and two Class D permits are available for re-issuance.

“PIRO will prioritize applications for each vessel size class permit based on the date of your earliest documented participation in the American Samoa longline fishery and the size of the longline fishing vessel that you owned or on which you fished,” Ikehara wrote. “Participation on a Class A size vessel receives the highest priority.”

In a Feb. 28 letter, Ikehara informed prospective applicants about the longline permits now available.  Along with the completed and signed application form, Ikehara said the applicant must include the following:

• A copy of current vessel registration or documentation (if you are registering a vessel at this time);

•  Payment of the non-refundable application processing fee of $55 with a personal check or money order payable to “Department of Commerce, NOAA”;

•  Copies of records of your earliest documented participation in the American Samoa longline fishery, which could include log sheets, cannery invoices or receipts, or other documents.

NMFS said in a notice filed with the Federal Registry that the “number of available permits may increase before the application period closes” and no applications are accepted after the Jun. 22 deadline.

Application forms can be obtained by calling the field office at  633-5325 and also found online at:  www.fpir.noaa.gov/SFD/SFD_permits_index.html

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