Fishing Community Profile for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Published

One of the goals of the PIFSC's Human Dimensions Research Program (HDRP) has been to develop comprehensive profiles of fishing communities across the U.S. Pacific Islands region. These profiles detail the role and significance of fishing in each locale designated as a fishing community under guidelines of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Fishing community profiles provide an overview of the communities in the region whose population, economy, and culture maintain a strong relationship to fishing and fishing-related activities. The profiles are a valuable source of information for fishery managers and the public.

In January 2013, HDRP released the first-edition fishing community profile for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The profile includes an overview of the geography, culture and environmental setting of CNMI; a brief history of settlement, population and fishing traditions until 1980; an account of recent and current socioeconomic conditions; and a description of contemporary fishing practices including the importance of fishing and fisheries management. It also identifies key issues—to be monitored over time—that affect CNMI as a fishing community. The issues include: current trends in the local economy; federal regulations and involvement, including the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument; the Saipan Fishermen's Cooperative Association; the potential for fishing as economic development; and trends in fishing patterns. The CNMI fishing community profile was published as a NOAA Technical Memorandum entitled: "Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as a Fishing Community".

In addition to the new profile on CNMI, the staff of HDRP has been working to update fishing community profiles issued earlier for Guam and American Samoa.