The Division of Fish & Wildlife is one of several agencies under the Department of Lands and Natural Resources of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands government. The Division was created in 1981 by Public Law Number 2-51 entitled the "Fish, Game and Endangered Species Act". The Division endeavors to conserve fish, game and wildlife, and to protect endangered and threatened species. Through research, monitoring, regulation, enforcement, planning and management, the Division seeks to ensure the long-term survival and sustainability of the CNMI's natural resources for present and future generations.
The Division consists of a Wildlife Section, Fisheries Section, Planning and Education Section, Enforcement Section and Administrative Section. Led by Director Sylvan Igisomar, over 50 technical and professional staff work together on a variety of projects designed to enhance habitat, promote sustainable resource use, protect scarce species populations, and increase the publics awareness and enjoyment of the Commonwealth's unique natural resources and heritage. They accomplish this through species specific research, population and habitat monitoring, adaptive management, educational programs at schools, outreach at public events, environmental planning, permitting for major developments, and enforcement activities. The Division is empowered by DLNR to provide and enforce regulations governing hunting, fishing, harvesting, and taking of species, as well as human behavior and activities in protected and conservation areas in the CNMI.
The Division also reviews all development proposals submitted to the Coastal Resources Mangement Office (CRMO) and/or Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to ensure that negative impacts to endangered and threatened species are minimized, mitigated and/or avoided. Upon request, technical staff can assist developers and the public in designing projects that optimize land use for both human and natural resource purposes. These pre-permit meetings can lead to an improved built environment and a more sustainable use of the Island's marine and terrestrial natural resources.