Bottomfish areas to reopen soon

LIHUE — Deep-7 bottomfish fishing is going to re-open at the Bottomfish Restricted Fishing Areas (BRFAs) statewide on July 1.

Those areas include BFRAs on Kauai, Maui, Hawaii Island and Penguin Bank.

Non-commercial bottom fishers are also subject to federal permit and reporting requirements if fishing in federal waters. Non-commercial fishers are still limited to taking or possessing a combined total of five Deep-7 bottomfish per day.

Commercial bottom fishers who fish the re-opened BRFAs will have new, refined reporting requirements. They will need to provide the commercial catch reporting area number followed by the BRFA letter from which each fish was taken. Maps displaying the updated BRFA reporting requirements and more detailed instructions have been sent to licensed commercial bottom fishers and will be available on the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) website after July 1.

The new BRFA reporting requirement is based on a condition placed on DAR by the Board of Land of Natural Resources’ (BLNR) during a Public Meeting held in January 2019. DAR must monitor catch in the re-opened BRFAs, including pounds of fish taken and Catch Per Unit Effort, relative to other commercial catch reporting areas. DAR will use that data to prepare a report for the BLNR, due in January 2022.

The Deep-7 are

w ‘ula‘ula koa‘e or onaga (Etelis coruscans);

w ‘ula‘ula or ehu (E. carbunculus);

w kalekale(Pristipomoides sieboldii);

w ‘ōpakapaka (P. filamentosus);

w ‘ūkīkiki or gindai (P. zonatus);

w hāpu‘u (Epinephelus quernus); and

w lehi (Aphareus rutilans).

More info: call the Kauai Division of Aquatic Resources at 808.274.3344.

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