22 Oct 2013

Scientists say Hawai'i fishery should not have new limits imposed

2:40 pm on 22 October 2013

The scientist advising the United States Pacific fisheries council is adamant tuna stocks need preservation, but has rejected proposals for the Hawai'i fishery to take on further limits.

The Scientific and Statistical Committee says the proposed new limits on Hawai'i's longline fishing levels don't take into account that its fishing zone is mostly outside the reproduction areas where juvenile fish are found.

The Tuna Commission, which is due to meet in Cairns in December, will look at a new proposal by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, the Philippines and Japan, to limit the weight of yearly longline catches.

The chairman of the SSC advising the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Dr Charles Daxboeck, says the US adheres strictly to its limits, while purse seine vessels don't have a weight quota, but a different set of rules.

"Somehow we have to, down the road, figure out a way of getting catch in terms of the weight because it's calculated once it gets to the processor and therefore it's already too late."

Dr Charles Daxboeck