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Pilot Surveys to Improve Monitoring of Marine Recreational Fisheries in Hawaiʻi

March 21, 2018

In Hawaiʻi, where night fishing accounts for more than one third of the total shore fishing trips on Oʻahu, implementation of a fixed time-block sampling design for private boat survey is feasible.

Marine recreational fishing from shore and from private boats in Hawaiʻi is monitored via the Hawaiʻi Marine Recreational Fishing Survey (HMRFS), using an access point intercept survey to collect catch rate information, and the Coastal Household Telephone Survey (CHTS) to collect fishing effort data. In response to a recent HMRFS review, roving surveys of shoreline fishing effort and catch rate, an aerial fishing effort survey, and a mail survey of fishing effort were tested simultaneously on one of the main Hawaiian Islands (Oʻahu) and compared with the current HMRFS approach for producing shoreline fishing estimates. The pilot roving surveys were stratified by region (rural versus urban), shift (three 4-hour periods during the day), and day type (weekday versus weekend). A pilot access point survey of private boat fishing was also conducted on Oʻahu, using an alternate sampling design created by NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP). Three overlapping 6-hour time blocks and site clusters with unequal inclusion probabilities were used to cover daytime fishing. Group catch was recorded for an entire vessel rather than individual catch, which is the current standard for MRIP intercept surveys. Although catch estimates from the pilot private boat survey were comparable to the current HMRFS catch estimates, the catch estimates from the pilot roving survey were lower than the HMRFS estimates. HMRFS uses effort data from the CHTS, which includes both day and night fishing in all areas, to estimate total catch, whereas effort data from the roving shoreline survey covered only daytime fishing from publicly accessible areas. We therefore suggest that a roving survey conducted during the day should have complementary surveys to include night fishing and fishing in remote and private/restricted areas. Results from these pilot studies will be used to improve the current surveys of marine recreational fishing activities in Hawaiʻi.


Ma H, Ogawa TK, Sminkey TR, Breidt FJ, Lesser VM, Opsomer JD, Foster JR, Van Voorhees DA. Pilot surveys to improve monitoring of marine recreational fisheries in Hawaiʻi. (Published in Fisheries Research). 

Last updated by Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center on 03/07/2019

Recreational Fishing Survey Fishing Effort Catch Limits