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Hawaii Handpick Fishery

Current Classification on the 2017 LOF

Category III
Estimated Number of Participants 46
Target Species Opihi, wana, limu, aama crab, namako, ina, etc.
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 because the fishing method is highly selective (hand harvest).

Distribution: Generally occurs in coastal areas by walking over coastal rocks and shoreline or in shallow water at low tide. In 2013, there were 839 fishing trips that reported handpicking.

Gear Description: Hand harvesting bottom dwelling marine life by various methods.   

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 or method, 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). Hand harvest is listed as allowable 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 by hand 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: handpicked.

Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) III (1996)
Original Number of Participants 135
Basis for Original Classification

Listed as Category III because the fishery was expected to have a remote likelihood of incidental serious injury or mortality of marine mammals. No observer, logbook, or stranding data were available.

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 58 to 46
  • Estimated number of participants increased from 57 to 58.
  • Estimated number of participants decreased from 61 to 57.
  • Estimated number of participants increased from 53 to 61.
  • Estimated number of participants increased from 37 to 53.
  • Estimated number of participants decreased from 135 to 37

Updated June 19, 2017