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Hawaii rod and reel

Current Classification on the 2017 LOF:

Category III
Estimated Number of Participants 322
Target Species Various reef and pelagic 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:  Several species of odontocetes have been reported as depredating bait or catch from hook-and-line fisheries (Shallenberger 1981, Nitta and Henderson 1993). Depredation behavior may increase the risk of marine mammals becoming hooked or entangled. Stranding records and other information suggest several marine mammal species may be killed or injured in unidentified hook-and-line fisheries (e.g., Bradford and Lyman 2015, NMFS PIR Marine Mammal Response Network, Baird et al. 2014). However, at this time, no serious injuries or mortalities to any marine mammal have been attributed to commercial rod and reel fishing. 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, in all seasons with trips typically lasting less than a day, although larger vessels may make multi-day trips. In 2013, there were 1,817 fishing trips that reported using rod and reel gear.

Gear Description: Fishing from shore or from an anchored or drifting vessel, typically with a spinning or casting reel with baited hooks or lures.

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.

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). Hook-and-line gear is listed as allowable gear to harvest Hawaii coral reef ecosystem MUS in federal waters. The FEP for Pacific Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region may also apply if pelagic species are harvested in this fishery.

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

A commercial marine license issued by Hawaii DAR is required for all commercial fishing activities. This fishery corresponds to the following fishing method(s) defined by DAR: casting. 


Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) III (2015)
Original Number of Participants 221
Basis for Original Classification See above
Past Names Split from “HI trolling, rod and reel” in 2015.
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list) N/A


Timeline of Changes

  • Number of participants decreased from 1,560 to 322
  • Fishery added to the LOF, split from “HI trolling, rod and reel.”
History of Changes on the LOF for the “HI trolling, rod and reel” fishery prior to being split on the 2015 LOF
  • Added Pantropical spotted dolphin (HI) based on available fisheries information that indicates they are incidentally injured at low levels.
  • Retained the fishery as Category III fishery because current information does not suggest that total commercial fishery-related mortality and serious injury of the stock exceeds 10% of the PBR of 61 (i.e., 6.1 serious injuries or mortalities per year). NMFS bases this conclusion on the following:  1) The lack of mortality/serious injury reports in the Final 2011 SARs and recent bycatch estimates; 2) The reportedly small number of participants in the troll and charter fisheries who opportunistically fish in close proximity to spotted dolphin groups; 3) The limited geographic and temporal scope of dolphin groups that are known to associate with tuna in Hawaiian waters and fished by local trollers; 4) The likelihood that some portion of that trolling effort around dolphins is recreational and would not count toward an estimation of risk that the commercial fisheries pose to the dolphins; 5) The likelihood that not all interactions between dolphins and the troll fisheries are serious injuries, particularly if an animal is snagged in an appendage or in the body by a hook being dragged through the water. A hooking in the body or an appendage, though case specific, is more likely to be a non-serious injury than an ingested hook, according to NMFS policy for distinguishing serious from non-serious injury of marine mammals; 6) The lack of any direct evidence of serious injury or mortality of spotted dolphins in the troll and charter vessel fisheries; and7) The lack of any other identified sources of incidental mortality/serious injury of this stock of spotted dolphins. There have been no observed or estimated mortalities or serious injuries of spotted dolphins in the Hawaii-based longline fisheries within the U.S. EEZ around Hawaii since 2005, though there are an estimated 0.5 serious injuries or mortalities per year in the deep-set longline fishery on the high seas (Carretta et al., 2012b; McCracken 2011). The fishing technique of trolling in close proximity to groups of Pantropical spotted dolphins, where and when it occurs, presents a heightened risk to the marine mammals. However, this information alone does not provide sufficient evidence with which to conclude that dolphins are being seriously injured or killed on an occasional basis as a result of these practices.  
  • Number of participants decreased from 2,191 to 1,560.
  • Proposed to elevate to Category II based on anecdotal reports (from a newspaper article and discussions with marine mammal researchers in the field in HI) of hookings of Pantropical spotted dolphins (HI), NMFS and WPFMC reports, the level of effort in the fishery; and proposed to add Pantropical spotted dolphins (HI) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured. Based on the information received, it was apparent that certain pieces of the new information seem to indicate a Category II classification is not warranted, while other pieces of new information seem to indicate a Category II classification is warranted. The information included:  Direct observations and a videotape of troll vessel operations in close proximity to spotted dolphins; information suggesting NMFS may have overestimated the distribution and level of commercial fishing effort ‘‘fishing on’’ dolphins; license and trip report data that suggest the frequency at which dolphins are seriously injured may fall below NMFS’ projected take estimates; and the author of the newspaper article NMFS considered commented that the instance described in the article that he reported on this one instance because he believed it to be a rare event. Therefore, NMFS needed additional time to consider and investigate the information provided by the public commenters to better understand the nature and level of interactions between these fisheries and Pantropical spotted dolphins. For that reason, NMFS did not elevate the fishery or add Pantropical spotted dolphins to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in the final rule. Instead, NMFS committed to continue to review the information received from the public, along with the information on which the initial proposed fishery elevations were based, and to propose to elevate the fishery on the 2013 LOF, if warranted.
  • Number of participants decreased from 2,210 to 2,191.
  • Number of participants increased from 1,321 to 2,210.
  • Number of participants decreased from 1,795 to 1,321.
  • Added to the LOF with no details given. Original number of participants 1,795. No marine mammal interactions documented.


Baird, R.W., S.D. Mahaffy, A.M. Gorgone, T.Cullins, D.J. McSweeney, E.M. Oleson, A.L. Bradford, J.Barlow, and A.N. Zerbini. 2014. Evidence of high levels of fisheries interactions for false killer whales around the main Hawaiian Islands: Variations by social groups and correlation with increased mortality levels. PSRG-2014-15. 10 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.
Nitta, E.T. and J.R. Henderson. 1993. A review of interactions between Hawaii’s fisheries and protected species. Marine Fisheries Review 55(2): 83-92.
Shallenberger, E.W. 1981. The status of Hawaiian cetaceans. Final Report to U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, MMC-77/23. 79 p.

Updated June 19, 2017