Western Pacific Fisheries Information Network
The Western Pacific Fisheries Information Network (WPacFIN) program provides access to best available fisheries data from the Western Pacific Region to support fisheries management in that region. It obtains these data through cooperative agreements with participating state and territorial fisheries agencies in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, and Hawaii. It also works closely with the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council and Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO). WPacFIN was established in 1981.
- Establish and maintain good working relationships with WPacFIN participating agencies
- Update and maintain a central fisheries database at WPacFIN Central (the WPacFIN office at PIFSC) to facilitate data sharing and summarizing
- Assist local state and territorial fisheries offices with technical support and some funding to address changing information needs to meet new federal requirements as they arise
Provide best available fisheries data on a timely basis for managing fisheries resources in the U.S. Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Provide participating fisheries offices with technical expertise and tools to collect their fishery-dependent data and make certain they are able to comply with federal fishery data collection requirements.
American Samoa: Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources
The American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR) is located near Pago Pago on Tutuila and has been collecting commercial fisheries data from the Tutuila fleet since the early 1970s. In 1983 it extended its coverage to the Manu`a Islands, and in 1985 DMWR modified its data collection programs to include recreational and subsistence fisheries data.
CNMI: Division of Fish and Wildlife
The Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) has been collecting fisheries statistics on the commercial fishing fleet of Saipan since the mid-1970s. In 1983 DFW also began collecting information on vessels transshipping tuna out of Tinian. Significant improvements to the data collecting and processing systems were made in 1982 when computer hardware, software, and training were provided by the WPACFIN program.
Guam: Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources
The Guam Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources (DAWR) has been conducting offshore and inshore creel surveys since the early 1970s. Beginning in 1982, DAWR began modifying its data collecting and processing systems to improve estimates of catch and effort by improving sampling techniques and by incorporating the use of computers to expand the survey data. In 1982 WPacFIN began working with DWF staff and local fish dealers to obtain information on commercial landings through voluntary use of trip ticket invoices provided by WPacFIN.
Guam: Bureau of Statistics and Plans
Since 1988 the Guam Bureau of Statistics and Plans (BSP) has administered the large-scale fishery data collection system to monitor and study the volume of tuna being offloaded and transshipped through Guam. The system was first developed by the South Pacific Commission and is currently supported by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC). In 1989 to further the analysis and determine the impact of the longline fishery WPacFIN provided a supplemental data processing program to the Guam BSP to register individual weights by species.
Hawaii: Division of Aquatic Resources
The Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (HDAR) has been collecting data from commercial fishers since 1948. HDAR manages the state's aquatic resources and ecosystems through programs in commercial fisheries, aquatic resources protection, habitat enhancement, and recreational fisheries. WPacFIN has worked in close collaboration with HDAR since 1981 and provides technical, data processing, and quality control support.