False killer whale. Credit: Robin Baird
In late November, the Hawai‘i deep-set longline fleet, which targets bigeye tuna, caught three false killer whales in federal waters off the Big Island. All of them were release alive, but had been hooked in the mouth area and freed with hooks, wire leaders, weights, and branch lines attached.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) had not yet announced by press time whether the whales’ injuries were serious enough to likely end in their deaths, which could influence whether longliners will be allowed to resume fishing this . . .
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