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Hawaii Bullpen Trap Fishery

Current Classification on the 2017 LOF

Category III
Estimated Number of Participants 3
Target Species Inshore and reef fish.
Applicable Take Reduction Plans None
Observer Coverage Not observed
Marine Mammal Species/Stocks Killed or Injured None Documented

^ Number of participants estimates are based on state and federal fisheries permit data.  The estimated number of participants is expressed in terms of the number of active participants in the fishery, when possible.  If this information is not available, the estimated number of vessels or persons licensed for a particular fishery is provided.  If no recent information is available on the number of participants, then the number from the most recent LOF is used.  NMFS acknowledges that, in some cases, these estimations may be inflating actual effort.  

*Observer coverage levels include the latest information reported in the most current final Stock Assessment Report (SAR)

(1) Indicates the stock or species is driving the classification of the fishery 

Note: Current classification based on final LOF, no proposed changes are reflected in this table.

Basis for Current Classification: There are no known incidental mortalities or serious injuries of marine mammals in this fishery, and there is a remote likelihood of marine mammal mortalities and serious injuries given the low fishing effort and fishing location (shallow water).

Distribution: State waters in shallow water, often on reef areas of high rugosity. In 2013, there were 29 fishing trips that reported using bullpen trap gear.

Gear Description: Fishing with net(s) fixed in position to form a large stationary enclosure. The gear has a pen and a guide(s) of net or material designed to guide aquatic life into the pen, situation to prevent escape of some or all of the aquatic life entering the pen. Target species include a number of coral reef-associated finfish.

Management:  The fishery is managed by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources/Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and monitored by NMFS and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council. In general, fisheries are managed for the species harvested rather than by gear, but in some cases there are specific management measures for particular gear types or methods.

The Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) for the Hawaii Archipelago and implementing regulations under 50 CFR 665.220 through 665.239 include a list of allowable gear and methods for harvesting Hawaii coral reef ecosystem management unit species (MUS) in the FEP management area (U.S. EEZ, outside of state waters). Use of gear or a method not listed as allowable requires a special permit pursuant to 50 CFR 665.224(1)(iii). Bullpen trap is not a gear type specifically allowed to harvest Hawaii coral reef ecosystem MUS in federal waters.

The Council recommends and NMFS approves annual catch limits (ACLs) for most coral reef MUS, so species harvested using bullpen traps may be subject to ACLs.

A commercial marine license issued by DAR is required for all commercial fishing activities. This fishery corresponds to the following fishing method(s) defined by DAR: bullpen trap. Hawaii Administrative Rules specify a maximum total length of the bullpen trap (2,000 feet including the length of the guide(s) and pen) and maximum total soak time (16 hours). Bullpen traps must be set more than 1,000 yards from shore, except on Molokai where they may be set beyond 500 yards from shore west of Kaunakakai Wharf, and beyond 200 yards from shore east of Kaunakakai Wharf.  

Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) III (2011)
Original Number of Participants 4
Basis for Original Classification

There are no known incidental mortalities or serious injuries of marine mammals in this fishery, and there is a remote likelihood of marine mammal interactions.

Past Names None
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list) N/A


Timeline of Changes

  • Estimated number of participants increased from < 3 to 3
  • Estimated number of participants decreased from 4 to < 3

Updated June 19, 2017