In 2004 NMFS notified the Pacific Council and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (WPFMC) that they must take action to address overfishing of bigeye tuna. In response, the Council moved to begin work on Amendment 1 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS). NMFS Southwest Region agreed to take lead responsibility on developing the amendment package for Council consideration.
Amendment 1 adopts recommendations to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) contained in Amendment 14 to the WPFMC’s Pelagics FMP, prepared by the WPFMC to address bigeye tuna Pacific-wide. In addition to recommendations to immediately end overfishing, the amendment authorizes the development of a process for communicating advice and coordinating with the IATTC, WPFMC, and, as necessary, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, similar to the process outlined in Amendment 14 to the Pelagics FMP. This process has been adopted as a separate Council Operating Procedure rather than being specified in the HMS FMP.
NMFS began Secretarial review of the amendment in March 2007, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Amendment 1 was approved on June 7, 2007.