HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii's longline fisheries in the central Pacific have reached their bigeye tuna quota much earlier than expected for the second year in a row.
Eric Kingma with the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council tells The Hawaii Tribune-Herald that this year's higher catch rate is in line with last year's, which he had thought to be "an anomaly" because of El Nino.
The fisheries closed in August last year, the earliest the region had ever been restricted. The longline fleet returned to the waters two months later.
This year's closure of the western and central Pacific longline grounds starts Friday and runs through the end of 2016. The eastern Pacific region will close Monday to large boats.