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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 (WCPFC) would cut the allowance of the longline fishery by as much as nearly half. The Council says that the WCPFC’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, explained that the Hawaii longline fishery operates several thousands of miles from equatorial Pacific. This is thousands of miles away from the waters in which purse seiners operate and catch their bigeye in association with FADs.

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.