Deepwater bottomfish off limits
Fishing for seven deepwater bottomfish, including onaga and opakapaka, will be closed off between April 20 and Aug. 31.
The National Marine Fisheries Service yesterday published its notice of temporary closure of the fishery in the main Hawaiian Islands for the group of seven bottom fish. They also include ehu, gindai, Kalekale, lehi and hapu'upu'u.
The closure will mark the third consecutive year the fishery has been temporarily closed for the seven bottomfish. The National Marine Fisheries Service sets an annual estimate for the amount of fish that can be caught without risking overfishing.
During the last two years the fishery was closed temporarily in July and reopened when the fishing year began again in September.
This year the limit was set at 254,050 pounds, which the fisheries service estimates will be reached on or before April 20.
Light winds last fall and early in the winter provided favorable conditions for fishing boats since the start of the 2009-2010 fishing year. The primary market for the catch is seafood counters and restaurants in Hawai'i.