Relatively little is known about the growth and maturity of commonly caught coral reef associated species within Hawaiian waters. We are working with local fish vendors and fishermen to characterize all the various reef species being caught and sold here in Hawai’i. Additionally, we are dissecting fish to determine the age, growth, and maturation of these species. This local life history information will then be used to improve the models used for stock assessments and allow managers to make more informed decisions regarding catch limits.
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Preliminary papio/ulua results: Papio_Brochure
Approximately 80% of captured Kona crabs must be released due to the current regulations restricting any take of females and males under a 4-in carapace length. This study determined the post-release mortality of discarded crabs based on common injuries suffered during the fishing process.
Poseidon teamed up with American Samoa’s Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR) to produce age and size at maturity information for three commonly targeted species: Lethrinus rubrioperculatus (filoa), Naso lituratus (umelei), and Chlorurus japanensis (fuga). In order to gather the required data, Poseidon Fisheries researcher Cassie Pardee led two three day workshops in American Samoa for local government employees and
fishermen to train staff and stakeholders on how to process fish samples, how to determine fish age from otoliths (ear bones) and spawning stage from gonads. The second workshop used the collected life history data to teach participants about different assessment and management tools that can be used by local managers for managing the stocks. This study was funded by The Nature Conservancy under cooperative agreement award #NA16NOS4820106 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Akule aerial abundance survey
An experienced spotter pilot was utilized to locate and estimate biomass of akule schools surrounding the island of O’ahu for the 2015-2016 fishing season. The data were then used to create fishery-independent indices of abundance at varying temporal and spatial scales to compare with indices generated from catch and effort data. The western region of O’ahu has the highest index value, exceeding each of the other three regions by two to three times. A clear temporal trend was also observed; indicies increased from the lowest values during the beginning of the fishing season (Nov-Jan) to the highest values during the peak season (May-July). Trends between fishery-independent and fishery-dependent indices of abundance were similar, which suggests commercial catch and effort data are adequate to track trends in abundance of bigeye scads and inform management decisions.