Council recommends no limit for tuna catch in US territories

The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council has recommended that no catch limit be set for long-line caught bigeye tuna in any U.S. Pacific territory from 2020 to 2023.

The committee also recommended that each territory be allowed to allocate up to 2,000 metric tons o federally permitted Hawai'i longline vessels.

The committee made the recommendations during a three-day meeting in Honolulu that concluded Friday.

“This and other recommendations by the council's SSC will be considered by the Council at its 178th meeting in Honolulu on June 25-27,” according to a press release from WCPFC.

Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, the council has authority over fisheries seaward of state waters in Hawaiʻi and other U.S. Pacific islands.

The WCPFC is an international regional fishery management organization that develops quotas and other management measures for tuna fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Under WCPFC, small island developing states and participating U.S. territories do not have longline-caught bigeye quotas.