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Hawaii Lift Net

Current Classification on 2017 LOF

Category III
Estimated Number of Participants 17
Target Species Opelu, baitfish
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 gear is actively fished and highly selective (net is raised beneath a school of fish). 


Fishing can occur in state or federal waters. The fishery generally occurs in nearshore coastal areas but also in proximity to offshore Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs). In 2013, there were 810 fishing trips that reported using lift net gear.

Gear Description

Fishing with a net that captures fish by raising the net from beneath a school of fish. Normally fish are encouraged over and into the net with chum.


The fishery is monitored and managed by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), NMFS, and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, as appropriate. 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). Lift 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 most coral reef MUS including opelu, so species harvested using this gear 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: lift net.  

Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) III (1996)
Original Number of Participants 16
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 HI opelu/akule net (until 2015).
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 21 to 17.
  • Renamed from “HI opelu/akule net” to “HI lift net."
  • Estimated number of participants decreased from 22 to 21.
  • Estimated number of participants increased from 16 to 22.
  • Estimated number of participants decreased from 20 to 16.
  • Estimated number of participants increased from 12 to 20.
  • Estimated number of participants decreased from 16 to 12.


Updated February 27, 2017