Estimating nearshore fisheries catch for the main Hawaiian Islands
Nearshore fisheries in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) have great economic, recreational, and cultural value. Currently, information on these fisheries is disparate and incomplete, creating a challenge for effective management. This study combines and synthesizes several commercial and small-scale non-commercial datasets to estimate the total catch of nearshore fisheries in the MHI. Data used came from catch reports submitted by commercial fishers, a statewide recreational fisheries survey, and 12 small-scale, non-commercial creel surveys conducted at sites in Kauai, Oahu, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii. Results include an estimated range for total nearshore catch of between 1,441,407 and 6,731,832 kg/yr, with non-commercial catch being between 9 and 46 times reported commercial reef fish catch. Additionally this study provides a comprehensive overview of the MHI nearshore fishery, including best-available estimates of fishery data such as CPUE, gear-preference and participation rates, with data broken out at island-scale, which likely is more appropriate for management purposes than the statewide level at which nearshore catch data is currently reported in the MHI.