The Pacific Islands, comprised of American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, and other U.S. Pacific islands, are surrounded by a rich diversity of marine life that is vital to our culture and economic stability. We thrive on sustainable seafood—it's key to our health and well-being. We also benefit from recreational and commercial fishing industries, which contribute nearly $1 billion in sales and 10,000 jobs to our economy. In 2015, commercial fishermen landed more than 36 million pounds of finfish and shellfish.
We are home to the lovable, yet critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal—only 1,400 remain. Other popular species include green sea turtles, spinner dolphins, false killer whales, and humpback whales. Our coral reefs support about 25 percent of marine life, but these areas are among the most threatened ecosystems because of the effects of natural events and human activities such as ocean acidification, coral bleaching and disease, marine debris, and pollution.
Our work to ensure sustainable fisheries and protect marine life is a joint effort between NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office and the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, offering cutting-edge science to help inform management decisions in an ever-changing environment. We work together to conserve and manage domestic and international marine resources in a vast geographical area.
Our vision for the region is to achieve sustainable fisheries and seafood, healthy marine ecosystems that provide stability for fishery resources, recovery of threatened and endangered species, and enhanced opportunities for commercial, recreational, and cultural activities in the marine environment.