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March 07, 2013

Apparent Whale Death Sparks Longline Closure in Hawaii

Federal rules will end longlining after second false killer whale hooked.

A longline set off the Hawaiian Islands has apparently killed a false killer whale, the second of that species known to be hooked on a longline in these waters in 2013.

That triggers a closure to tuna longline fishing of an area 112,575 square nautical miles south of Hawaii (waters frequented by false killer whales). The automatic closure is part of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan.

A local report states that NMFS’ analysis shows longline fishing to be killing these Hawaiian stocks of these mammals at one-and-one-half to two times the rate that their populations can sustain.