Hawaii longline fishermen allowed to resume catching tuna - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii longline fishermen allowed to resume catching tuna

By AUDREY McAVOY
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii fishermen are once again being allowed to catch a prized tuna species in the fleet's most productive fishing grounds west of the islands.

The decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service comes more than two months after the agency closed the fishery because Hawaii-based longline fishermen hit their annual catch limit for bigeye tuna.

But now the agency has crafted a rule allowing the fishermen to report some of this year's bigeye catch as being caught by the Northern Mariana Islands instead. This gives Hawaii's fishermen the freedom to bring in more of the popular tuna also known as ahi.

Environmentalists are suing the agency to stop the attribution of bigeye catch to U.S. territories. They say the agency is undermining international agreements aimed at eliminating overfishing of bigeye.

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