Changes to the size limit for commercial ahi is in the works.
State and federal fisheries regulators seeking comment on raising the minimum size of ahi from 3 pounds — along with other rule changes — took input from about two dozen commercial fishermen in Kailua-Kona on Saturday.
The scoping meeting held by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and the state Division of Aquatic Resources was the last in a series designed to take the temperature of the commercial and sportfishing industry on the proposals.
“There is some foundation for protecting yellowfin because they breed here,” said Dan Roudebush, who identified himself as both a commercial and sport fisherman. “But no one knows where the bigeye breeders go.”
Alton Miyasaka, acting commercial fisheries program manager for DAR, said the feedback from a half-dozen other similar meetings around the state favored increasing the ahi size limit. But the regulators acknowledged that some fishermen felt the smaller fish were too important to the communities and opposed changing the size limit at all.
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