The Coast Guard says it rescued eight people from a burning ship off Honolulu.
The Coast Guard says the crew members are safe after being rescued Friday from a burning commercial fishing vessel named Lady Anna.
The Lady Anna was about 2 miles south of Honolulu Harbor when the Coast Guard overheard radio transmission about the fire.
A Coast Guard patrol boat was nearby, and its crew arrived to find black smoke billowing from the engine room. Rescuers fought and extinguished the fire.
The Coast Guard will investigate the cause.
Longliners hit quota on tuna
HILO >> 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, international fisheries enforcement coordinator for the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council, said 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.
“It’s the same number of hooks (in the water),” said Hawaii Longline Association President Sean Martin. Catch rates are 40 percent higher than historical numbers, he said.
This year’s closure of the western and central Pacific longline grounds starts Friday and runs through 2016. The eastern Pacific region will close Monday to boats larger than 24 meters long.
“For some of the smaller boats, it’s quite a run for them,” Martin told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
About three-fourths of the 130 active boats in Hawaii’s longline fleet will still be able to fish in eastern waters.
Last year, the fisheries closed in August, the earliest the region had ever been restricted.
Because the longline fleet reached the 3,500-metric ton catch limit early this year, they will have to travel farther to catch bigeye tuna. That could mean that handline fishermen on Hawaii island will see higher prices for their product.
“The first fish they land is going to be that much older by the time it gets to the block,” said Suisan Division Manager Kyle Sumner.