Judge allows Hawaii fishers to continue exceeding international tuna limit

HONOLULU -- A federal judge has ruled longline fishermen in Hawaii may continue catching more bigeye tuna, or ahi, than the maximum set by international regulators.

See Full Article

U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi on Wednesday issued the ruling rejecting environmental groups' claims that the extra fishing is illegal.

The opinion came just in time for the year-end holidays when Hawaii consumers crowd stores to buy ahi sashimi for Christmas and New Year's celebrations. A ruling adverse to the fishermen had the potential to shut down or curtail the Hawaii fishery for the rest of the calendar year.

Michael Tosatto, the Pacific Islands regional administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, said Thursday the agency is happy the judge found the rules lawful.

"I think we're just pleased that the fishery remains on a stable footing without the need for further action," Tosatto said.

An international commission that regulates commercial fishing between Indonesia and Hawaii set a limit of about 3,500 metric tons for Hawaii longline fishermen this year. The Hawaii fishery reached the limit -- set by the 26-member nation Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission -- in August.

But the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service created a rule allowing additional catch limits for three U.S. Pacific territories. It then allowed the territories to allocate up to half of their catch limit to Hawaii-based longline fishing vessels.

Environmentalists sued, arguing the arrangement undermines international agreements aimed at eliminating bigeye overfishing.

Kobayashi's ruling referred to the practice as "quota shifting." She concluded that it wasn't arbitrary and capricious. She said setting up the system didn't exceed the fisheries service's authority.

A staff attorney for one of the plaintiff groups expressed disappointment in the decision.

Bigeye tuna is being overfished in the Pacific, said Catherine Kilduff of the Center for Biological Diversity. Although bigeye tuna fishing is being managed internationally, the rules aren't adequate to protect the fish, she said.

"We were really relying on the U.S. government to make the right decision," Kilduff said.

Bigeye is one of two tuna varieties known as ahi. The other is yellowfin. It's popular for sushi and fish steaks.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Climate change scientists fight for funding to save High Arctic lab

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Some of Canada's leading climate change scientists are fighting to keep the country's northernmost research station in operation. The Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in Eureka, Nunavut, tracks atmospheric data that no other research station can, given its High Arctic latitude, only 1,110 kilometres from the North Pole. Source
  • Right whale skeleton, DNA headed to Canada's largest museum

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Scientists at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto are hoping that some good can come from three dead North Atlantic right whales, towed to a beach on P.E.I. this summer. Final report on right whale deaths still weeks away, say AVC pathologistsRight whale necropsy underway on P.E.I. Source
  • Asteroid mining could support space economies, colonies

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A team of researchers are planning to send robotic spacecraft into outer space, land near asteroids hurtling through the abyss and mine them for water, metals and other elements that will make colonizing space that much easier. Source
  • Algae on river flowing into Lake Erie prompts warning

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TOLEDO, Ohio -- Health officials in Ohio are telling children, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions not to swim in the river that flows through Toledo because of an algae outbreak. The Maumee River along the city's downtown waterfront has turned unsightly shades of green the past few days, leading local health officials to issue a recreational advisory Thursday. Source
  • #BugsR4Girls: How 8-year-old Sophia Spencer co-authored a scientific paper on bugs

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Sophia Spencer hated it when classmates taunted her for her love of insects, but seeing them kill her pet grasshoppers for fun was even worse. Her first-grade peers couldn't understand what she found so fascinating about bugs of all sorts or why she'd devoted spare time to catching them, reading about them and generally carrying on like a budding entomologist. Source
  • Tech firms and lawmakers celebrate new trans-Atlantic cable

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Lawmakers and tech industry leaders have announced the completion of a new high-speed data cable that stretches across the Atlantic Ocean. Representatives from Facebook and Microsoft joined with Virginia's governor and two senators in Williamsburg to celebrate the cable's completion on Friday morning. Source
  • Ont. girl who was teased for love of bugs gets name in science journal

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Sophia Spencer hated it when classmates taunted her for her love of insects, but seeing them kill her pet grasshoppers for fun was even worse. Her first-grade peers couldn't understand what she found so fascinating about bugs of all sorts or why she'd devote spare time to catching them, reading about them, and generally carrying on like a budding entomologist. Source
  • Help from above: Canadian satellite assists with hurricane recovery, other natural disasters

    Tech & Science CBC News
    When Hurricane Irma cut a path of destruction through the Caribbean this month, authorities on the ground found themselves in the dark, scrambling for information. High above the storm, satellites from several nations, including Canada, were called into action to track the hurricane's progress, measure the damage and provide vital information to plan rescue and recovery efforts. Source
  • Indonesia raises Bali volcano alert to highest level

    Tech & Science CTV News
    JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesian authorities have raised the alert level for the Mount Agung volcano on the tourist island of Bali to the highest level, and more than 11,000 villagers have left their homes around the mountain, officials said Friday. Source
  • Plenty of rain and thriving plants made it a 'crazy great summer' for monarchs and other insects

    Tech & Science CBC News
    One of Canada's most cherished species seems to be making a comeback in Toronto gardens — at least for a few more days. Monarch butterfly watchers in Canada and in the United States say it's been a good year for the iconic orange-and-black pollinators, who leave for winter habitats in Mexico from Canada and the U.S. Source