Fishery managers consider limiting ahi catch - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Fishery managers consider limiting ahi catch

Paul Dalzell Paul Dalzell

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Scientists have a very important decision to make regarding one of Hawaii's favorite foods. Fisheries in the Western Pacific region, which includes Hawaii, can catch 3,763 metric tons of big-eye tuna this year. While it sounds like a lot, Hawaii is already halfway to the quota or limit, with six months left to go.

Ahi becomes increasingly popular in November and December, so scientists with the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council are trying to gauge when to cut off the fisheries.

"You don't want to cut off fishing too soon and find out you come too far under quota and those fishermen lose out on economic opportunity. The other part is you don't want to make it too late and you're still fishing when you close and you find out you've gone over the quota. That's the real skill. It's a poker game" said Paul Dalzell, senior scientist with West Pac Regional Fishery Management Council.

Dalzell and his colleagues are also trying to create more of a self-sustenance for the region. Hawaii now imports 80% of the fish that it eats.

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