Groups oppose NOAA policy on Pacific bigeye tuna

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Hawaii fishing associations and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council are opposing harvesting cuts on Pacific bigeye tuna proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

In a letter published by the advocacy group Saving Seafood, the group asked NOAA International Fisheries deputy assistant secretary Russell Smith not to support bigeye tuna harvest cuts.

New measures under consideration at a meeting this week of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, of which the United States is a member, would cut bigeye tuna harvests by 36 percent of average landings from 2008-11, according to a statement.

Writing that existing measures are both recent and without statistical and scientific analysis of their effects so far, the council encourages the commission to examine current management measures before enacting further restrictive regulations. The letter, submitted Nov. 18, is also signed by the Hawaii Longline Association and American Tunaboat Association.

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