Fisheries

Fisheries are designated places for the rearing and selling of fish for commercial reasons. It can also apply to a location where fish are taken and retained although they may be released after a period of time.

Species of fish in Hawaii

There are a vast number of fish species in Hawaii and the surrounding islands which include:

  • Barracuda
  • Japanese Angelfish
  • Hawaiian Ruby Cardinalfish
  • Hawaiian Conger Eel
  • Blue Marlin
  • Yellowfin Tuna
  • Swordfish

These are just a few of the numerous types of fish found in these waters.

Threat to fish species

Hawaii is home to a vast range of fish although there is pressure on many of these species due to the island's fishing industries and 'overfishing' in some cases. This can lead to a decrease in certain species of fish although this can be caused by another risk, namely that of marine rubbish.

This marine rubbish which is also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is comprised of plastics, chemical wastes and items from landfill which have been blown by the wind into the ocean.

This Garbage Patch pollutes the beaches around Hawaii which can have a catastrophic effect on marine life in those areas. This is also caused by the expulsion of various effluents such as sewage or wastewater from industries located on these islands.

This is particularly relevant for Hawaii which often relies on fish more than many other countries and has a long history of fishing traditions.

Sustainable fisheries

Sustainable fisheries are seen as a possible answer to serious threats to marine life in Hawaii and the surrounding islands. This is crucial as the ocean and marine environment is an important part of the economy and culture of this island and plays a major role in global oceanic biodiversity. 

Potential threats to the marine environment

There is a concerted effort to arrest the decline in fish stocks due to overfishing, aggressive industrial fishing methods and pollution from the surrounding islands.

Overdevelopment in some coastal areas had disrupted the ecosystems in that area which has a dramatic effect on fish species, often leading to a decline in numbers.

Other threats include effluent from coastal construction and competition between native and alien species of fish, algae and other forms of marine life.

Coral bleaching and an increase in the temperature of the ocean are also impacting upon marine ecosystems in that area which then reduces its functioning and effectiveness.

Responsible fishing

The aim is for collaboration between fishermen and conservationists to ensure that fishing is carried out responsibly and as part of an overall drive for sustainable fishing. This will help to reverse what has become a global problem in terms of dwindling stocks of fish.

The aim is to devise regulations and methods for enforcing these rules in regard to the governance of fisheries and ocean coastlines. These will be supported by economic models for sustainable fishing as well as the creation of industry standards for the fishing community and industries.