22 Oct 2013

US scientist warns against further limits on Hawai'i fishing

9:29 pm on 22 October 2013

Fishing limits for the Honolulu longline fishery may increase again next year, making it harder for the Hawai'i fishing vessels to meet local demand.

The Tuna Commission may act on recommendations from the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, Japan and Philippines, that the yearly weight limit for Honolulu be increased.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says the United States abides strictly by its limits and the pressure should be on other countries that use purse seine vessels in the Pacific to stop exploiting young tuna stocks.

The chairman of the US Scientific and Statistical Committee, Dr Charles Daxboeck, says despite the 129 active vessels fishing around Hawai'i, there are 8 million tourists and one million residents to feed.

"Not only do we eat almost everything our longline fishery catches, and it's a fresh fish, and it's a nice fish, we in fact still have to import almost 40 percent of our seafood products because of the demand. So it's a rather unique situation for Hawai'i."

Dr Charles Daxboeck.