Concerns about ahi catch limit

Brooks Takenaka
Brooks Takenaka

By Lisa Kubota - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The fish sold quickly at Friday morning's auction. But October and November tend to be slow months for the industry. Fishermen are hoping they don't hit their ahi limit before the end of the year.

"As you can see like today, as an example, not very much fish. so if this trend continues as it does annually, then we might make it again like last year. We may come close, but we may still be alright," said Brooks Takenaka.

The quota this year for bigeye tuna in the Western and central Pacific is 3,763 metric tons. That limit could be reached as early as the middle of next month. The fleet would have to stop fishing in those areas causing a possible shortage.

"I don't really wanna get people too excited but that's certainly a possibility and a reality. We're hoping that it'll be a buyer's market as opposed to a fisherman's market," he said.

Some vessels have started hauling in catches in the eastern sector.

"We're not as close to the quota there as we are in the western and central. And so if that continues as the trend through the rest of the year, then I think indeed, we'll be fine."

Meanwhile bottomfish like Onaga and Opakapaka are also regulated. The season closed in April and re-opened in September.

"So in some cases, people have shifted to other fisheries, but here again, it becomes a matter of the balance because you take them away from one, and don't get into another, and that may adversely affect another fishery."

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