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“US Should Not Accept Proposed 45 Pct Cut On Bigeye”

The United States is being urged not to accept a proposed 45 percent cut in the bigeye tuna limit for the Hawaii longline fishery. The Hawaiian based Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council stressed that the potential quota reduction should not be approved by the US as it could shut down the entire tuna fishery around July each year.

The developed proposal by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission would cut the allowance of the longline fishery by as much as nearly half. The Council says that the Commission’s previous measures in conservation and management have failed in preventing an increase in fleet capacity, fishing efforts or total catch.

The Council, which is authorized by the US Congress to manage fisheries in the state and territorial waters of the US pacific Islands, explained that the Hawaii longline fishery operates in an area where around 90 percent of bigeye tuna fishing occurs, several thousand miles from equatorial Pacific.

It added that the Commission has imposed fishing day limits for the purse-seine fishery but its catch of bigeye tuna has increased under this approach.