West Hawaii Open Areas
- Request to:
Department of Land & Natural Resources
- Law used:
State of Hawaii UIPA
- Status of this request:
- Request Successful
- Summary of Request
This request is directed at Kona DAR which drafted the reports mentioned below.
Various reports in 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2019 have included data on aquarium catch as a % of the open area population for most of the white list species. The 2010 report included the following explanation for how the amounts were determined:
"Most aquarium collecting in West Hawai’i occurs primarily in mid-depth ranges. While abundance and conditions can and will alter collecting depths, Tissot and Stevenson (2010) reported that the majority of aquarium fishers collect between 41’- 59’. A population estimate was thus made based on a depth range of 30’-60’ (open area = 7.08 km2) which makes fixed transect data highly appropriate (Table 14). Added advantages are that survey sites span a considerable portion of the West Hawai’i coastline and include both open and closed areas.”
“Mean densities for 34 species on the white list for which adequate data existed were calculated for the period 2007-2009 at open survey sites. A GIS was used to determine the total area of hard bottom reef in the 30’ -60’ depth range that was open to aquarium collecting. Open areas at the extreme north and south parts of the West Hawai’i coast were excluded due to the remoteness of the areas and the difficulty of operating and collecting there. Total populations were the product of open area density X open area (7.08 km2). This population was then related to the average catch of the species for the period 2005-2009.”
For that 2010 report, the West Hawaii open area was 7.08 km2. (see Long-Term Monitoring of Coral Reefs of the Main Hawaiian Islands, Final Report, 2009 NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, State of Hawai’i Monitoring Report, NA06NOS4260113, 10/01/2006 - 09/30/2010).
In 2013, that number had changed to 10.55 km2, but no explanation for the change was provided (see Long-Term Monitoring of Coral Reefs of the Main Hawaiian Islands, Final Report, 2009 NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, Hawaiʹi Island Monitoring Report, NA09NOS4260100, 10/01/2009 – 12/31/2012)
In a 2014 report the open area size was not defined (see Report to the Thirtieth Legislature, 2015 Regular Session, Report on the Findings and Recommendations of Effectiveness of the West Hawai'i Regional Fishery Management Area)
In a 2019 report referenced in the West Hawaii DEIS for aquarium collecting, the open area size was not defined.
I am requesting the following:
1. An explanation (and any supporting evidence) for the differing open area sizes used in the 2010 and 2013 NOAA grant reports to estimate open area populations.
2. For each of the 4 reports mentioned above, the values that were used in the equation (open area density X open area) for estimating yellow tang populations.