An Ecological Perspective on Inshore Fisheries in the Main Hawaiian Islands

Smith, M. Kimberly (1993) An Ecological Perspective on Inshore Fisheries in the Main Hawaiian Islands. Marine Fisheries Review, 55(2), pp. 34-49.

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A description of fisheries within a depth of 100 fathoms is provided for the eight southeastern-most islands of the Hawaiian Archipelago, known as the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). These are the inhabited islands of the State of Hawaii and are those most subject to inshore fishing pressure, because of their accessibility. Between 1980 and 1990, an average of 1,300 short tons of fishes and invertebrates were reported annually within 100 fm by commercial fishermen. Total landings may be significantly greater, since fishing is a popular pastime of residents and noncommercial landings are not reported. Although limited data are available on noncommercial fisheries, the majority of this review is based on reported commercial landings. The principal ecological factors influencing fisheries in the MHI include coastal currents, the breadth and steepness of the coastal platform, and differences in windward and leeward climate. Expansive coastal development, increased erosion, and sedimentation are among negative human impacts on inshore reef ecosystems on most islands. Commercial fisheries for large pelagics (tunas and billfishes) are important in inshore areas around Ni'ihau, Ka'ula Rock, Kauai, and the Island of Hawaii (the Big Island), as are bottom "handline" fisheries for snappers and groupers around Kauai and Molokai. However, many more inshore fishermen target reef and estuarine species. Two pelagic carangids, "akule," Selar crumenopthalmus, and "opelu," Decapterus macarellus, support the largest inshore fisheries in the MHI. During 1980-90, reported commercial landings within three miles of shore averaged 203 and 125 t for akule and opelu, respectively. Akule landings are distributed fairly evenly throughout the MHI, while more than 72% of the state's inshore opelu landings take place on the Big Island. Besides akule and opelu, other important commercial fisheries on all the MHI include those for surgeon, soldier, parrot, and goatfishes; snappers; octopus, and various trevallies. Trends in reported landings, trips, and catch per unit effort over the last decade are outlined for these fisheries. In heavily populated areas, fishing pressure appears to exceed the capacity of inshore resources to renew themselves. Management measures are beginning to focus on methods of limiting inshore fishing effort, while trying to maintain residents' access to fishing.

Item Type: Article
Title: An Ecological Perspective on Inshore Fisheries in the Main Hawaiian Islands
Personal Creator/Author:
Smith, M. Kimberly
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Fisheries Review
Volume: 55
Number: 2
Page Range: pp. 34-49
Date: 1993
ISSN: 0090-1830
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Ecology
Item ID: 9872
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2012 20:40
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2012 20:40

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