Citizen Science: What you can do for better fisheries

Until now there has been little incentive for non-commercial fishermen to report their catch. We’ll take our boats out on the weekend, and come home with whatever ends up in the cooler. No need to fill out any paperwork.

But times are changing, and events taking place far from Hawaii will have an effect on fishermen here.

There could be a time when the opportunity to catch fish will be limited in order to conserve the resource. And decisions will have to be made on how the total amount of available fish is divided up. This is especially important for migratory, pelagic species such as various types of tuna and billfish that are sought by other countries fishing in the Pacific.

The most important thing to consider is that any decisions made by international, national and local fishery management agencies will be based on records of participation. Without a history of how many fish were caught, what a particular group of fishermen get will be based upon guesswork and someone’s assumptions.

The process of allocating percentages of fish, among commercial and non-commercial fishermen, is already taking place on the Mainland and Alaska. Because licensing and reporting have been well established there, governing agencies can come up with conservation measures that take into account past catch amounts. Percentages can be established that can more fairly support both commercial and non-commercial sectors.

But without catch information, fishery managers would have to guess. And fishermen without a record of participation could end up getting short-changed in the process.

The Lokahi app can help provide fishery managers with important catch and participation information especially from non-commercial fishers. The number of fish reported caught, whether they're kept or released, is an indication of how healthy fish stocks can be out there. If a lot of fish are reported caught, it means there’s a lot of fish. We’ve all seen how a lot of fish come to the dock when the schools are big. When there’s fewer fish, fewer are brought in.

Aside from total numbers, the Lokahi app can also give managers an idea of how much time was spent catching them by recording the number of hours fished. That “catch per unit effort” information is another important clue when it comes to the abundance of fish.

While our local governments aren’t collecting this data yet, we fishermen can be proactive and jump start the process  by downloading the free Lokahi app and start logging in your catch information today. 

If you fish you have a stake in our resources and the responsibility to sustain these resources for future generations.  Register today to be part of the solution in keeping Hawaii’s fisheries healthy!

How to Submit Testimony to HI Legislature
Here's a step by step guide to submitting your testimony.  Thank you for helping us make a difference in our fisheries!
Action Needed for CML Holders! Hawaii Small Boat Survey

Aloha Lokahi CML Holders!


Hopefully you guys got your letter and packet in the mail and filled out your survey.  Great job and thank you if you already completed it!


Just a friendly reminder for those who still need to complete it.  We love fishing and it is important to us so this survey will help fishery managers better understand the economic and cultural importance of small boat fishing in Hawaii as well as allow you to contribute direct feedback to managing agencies through the comments you provide.


Mahalo for you Kokua!

Jim Hori

Founder, Lokahi Fishing

Action Needed! OPPOSE HB 553: Threatens local fishers and will not protect sharks

Please OPPOSE Bill HB 553: Threatens local fishers and will not protect sharks


PLease submit your testimony in your own words here: “Immediately” must be submitted no later then Tuesday March 16, 2021, 1:00 pm.


Talking points for testimony against HB553 copy and paste one or more below with your testimony. This Bill has made cross over with strong support from the enviro’s. Remember each and every testimony submitted counts, let’s all do our part!



 There has been no meaningful consultation with the fishing community. This bill is being rammed down our throats by people who don’t fish. Fishers should be given a fair chance to shape legislation that will directly impact them.  Community hearings should be held before this kind of legislation is considered.


-       The bill is unenforceable and creates legal jeopardy for local fishers.  All fishing methods used to target sharks can be legitimately used to catch other species of fish so it would be impossible to prove that sharks were being specifically targeted.  Fishers who accidentally capture sharks could not be distinguished from those targeting sharks.  This puts local fishers at risk of unfair prosecution.


-       DLNR has testified that it lacks the resources required to enforce this type of legislation: “A dedicated marine patrol, which was discontinued due to staff shortages, would be required to effectively enforce ocean regulations, including those contained in this measure. Reactivating the DOCARE marine patrol would require at least five positions that would be solely dedicated to patrolling and enforcing Department regulations by boat.”


-       This bill is unnecessary because Hawaii coastal shark populations are healthy and already well-protected.  Fishing is already banned in two-thirds of the Hawaiian chain (Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument) and there are no commercial fisheries for coastal sharks anywhere in Hawaii.  Coastal shark meat is not sold in Hawaii (due to long-term lack of demand) and shark finning is already banned under existing laws.  The decline in global shark populations is primarily due to industrial high seas fishing or intensive targeted fishing for coastal sharks - neither of which applies to Hawaii.


-       This bill threatens ongoing tag and release programs.  Local fishers have been tagging and releasing bycaught sharks to help us understand post-release survival rates.  There is no provision for them to continue doing this under HB 553.