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Hawaii lobster trap

Current Classification on the 2017 LOF:

Category III
Estimated Number of Participants < 3
Target Species Lobster
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:  No mortalities or serious injuries of marine mammal have been documented in this fishery in recent years. Hawaiian monk seals were previously included in the list of species injured or killed in this fishery, but were removed from the list on the 2015 LOF. There are no reports of Hawaiian monk seal entanglements involving this gear since 1986, when one seal died in a trap in the 

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The SAR reports no monk seal mortalities or injuries in the fishery (Carretta et al. 2015).
From 2008-2012, four humpback whales were reported as entangled in Hawaii trap/pot gear (Bradford and Lyman 2015). However, none of these have been attributed to the Hawaii lobster trap fishery.
 

Based on an evaluation of information available at this time, there is a remote likelihood of marine mammal serious injuries or mortalities in this fishery.

Distribution:  Fishing can occur in both state and federal waters. Lobster traps are generally set in shallower waters (< 100 ft). To protect confidentiality, the number of lobster trap trips in 2013 cannot be reported

Gear Description: Trap fishing includes fishing with any of various fishing devices made into the shape of a box, container, or enclosure, with one or more openings that allow marine life to get inside but keep them from leaving.

Management: 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.

Harvest of Hawaii crustacean management unit species (MUS) in the U.S. EEZ is managed under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan FEP for the Hawaii Archipelago (Hawaii FEP) and implementing regulations under 50 CFR 665.240 through 665.259. The Hawaii FEP established mandatory permit and reporting requirements to facilitate monitoring of catch and effort. Federal regulations allow only trap and hand harvest methods, and lobsters cannot be taken by means of poisons, drugs, other chemicals, spears, nets, hooks, or explosives. Additionally, there are minimum size limits for spiny and slipper lobsters, and prohibitions against harvesting egg-bearing lobster, retaining mutilated or damaged lobsters, and fishing during the months of May through August, the peak lobster spawning season. Lobster harvest is also subject to an annual catch limit to prevent overfishing.  

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: trap/trap fishing (lobster trap). Hawaii Administrative Rules specify a minimum mesh size for traps: netting must be a minimum of 2 inches stretched mesh, and rigid material must be a minimum of 2 inches by 1 inch. Entrance cones for traps have no minimum mesh size. Traps must be portable and not exceed 10 feet in length or 6 feet in height or width. In state waters, the spiny lobster and slipper lobster fishery is closed from May – August. There are minimum size limits, and prohibitions against harvesting all females (spiny lobsters) or egg-bearing female lobsters (slipper lobsters). Lobsters must be landed in whole condition only, not mutilated.

 

Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) III (1996)
Original Number of Participants 15
Basis for Original Classification Fishery added to the LOF as Category III fishery in 1996 with no details given.
Past Names None
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list) N/A

 

Timeline of Changes

2015
  • Hawaiian monk seal removed from the list of species injured or killed in the fishery. Lobster trap fishing is substantially different from when the Hawaiian monk seal was added to the LOF in associated with the fishery in 1996. Commercial fishing is now prohibited within the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, and lobster trap fishing effort is very low within the main Hawaiian Islands, with fewer than three active commercial fishermen. There are no reports of monk seal entanglements involving this gear since 1986, when one seal died in a trap in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The SAR reports no monk seal mortalities or injuries in the fishery (Carretta et al. 2013). NMFS previously retained this species in the list of species injured or killed in this fishery because monk seals in the main Hawaiian Islands are hooked and entangled in fishing gear at a rate that cannot be reliably assessed. However, given the very low fishing effort and lack of any reports of monk seal injuries or mortalities in this fishery in almost 20 years, NMFS removed the species from the list of species injured or killed in the fishery.
2013
  • Estimated number of participants changed from 1 to < 3.
2012
  • Estimated number of participants decreased from 3 to 1.
2011
  • Estimated number of participants increased from 0 to 3.
2006
  • Estimated number of participants decreased from 15 to 0.
1996
  • Fishery added to the LOF as Category III fishery in 1996 with no details given.

References
Carretta, J.V., E. Oleson, D.W. Weller, A.R. Lang, K.A. Forney, J. Baker, B. Hanson, K Martien, M.M. Muto, A.J. Orr, H. Huber, M.S. Lowry, J. Barlow, J.E. Moore, D. Lynch, L. Carswell,  R.L. Brownell Jr., and D.K. Mattila. 2015. U.S. Pacific Marine Mammal Draft Stock Assessments: 2014. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-xxx. 78 p.
Bradford, A.L. and E. Lyman. 2015.  Injury determinations for humpback whales and other cetaceans reported to NOAA Response Networks in the Hawaiian Islands during 2007-2012. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-45. 29 p.
 

Updated June 19, 2017