In this final rule, NMFS allows large federally permitted U.S. longline vessels to fish in certain areas of the Large Vessel Prohibited Area (LVPA). NMFS will continue to prohibit fishing in the LVPA by large purse seine vessels.
(From the Federal Register) — The fishing requirements for the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument remain unchanged. The intent of the rule is to improve the viability of the American Samoa longline fishery and achieve optimum yield from the fishery while preventing overfishing, in accordance with National Standard 1.
The American Samoa large vessel prohibited area (LVPA) extends seaward approximately 30-50 nm around the various islands of American Samoa (see 50 CFR 665.806(b)). Federal regulations restrict vessels 50 ft and longer from fishing for pelagic management unit species within the LVPA. The Council and NMFS established the LVPA in 2002 to prevent the potential for gear conflicts and catch competition between large and small fishing vessels. You may read more about the LVPA in the 2001 proposed rule (66 FR 39475, July 31, 2001) and 2002 final rule (67 FR 4369, January 30, 2002).