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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 18, 2010

Panel of experts discusses reducing dolphin mortality

Advertiser Staff

A group of experts is meeting this week to discuss ways to prevent the accidental snagging of a rare dolphin species by Hawai'i's longline fishing fleet.

Fishermen, marine mammal biologists, environmental activists and government officials are meeting in Waikiki for a three-day session that concludes tomorrow.

The federal government is convening the false killer whale meeting in response to data indicating the fishery is snagging a large number of the animals.

Data show the fleet is accidentally killing or seriously injuring an average of 7.4 false killer whales each year in waters off Hawai'i.

That exceeds the 2.5 per year that the population can lose without harming its ability to sustain itself.