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Hawaii Crab Net Fishery

Current Classification on the 2017 LOF

Category III
Estimated Number of Participants 4
Target Species Various Crab species
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 interactions based on gear configuration and fishing method (small hoop nets, set from shore, tended) and low fishing effort.

Distribution: State waters, nearshore. In 2013, there were 56 fishing trips that reported using crab nets.

Gear Description: Fishing with a small circular lift or ring net less than 1 m in diameter. Nets are set manually from the shoreline, mainly in estuarine areas. The nets are used singly, and are not connected with a ground line. Gear is typically tended.

Management and Regulations: 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 Fishing 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). Crab net (except for Kona crab hoop net) 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 inshore crustaceans (coral reef MUS), so species harvested using crab nets 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: crab net.

Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) III (2011)
Original Number of Participants 8
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 decreased from 6 to 4.
  • Estimated number of participants increased from 5 to 6.
  • Estimated number of participants decreased from 8 to 5

Updated June 19, 2017