NOAA: 11 Hawaiian Reef Fish Possibly Overfished

Mar 8, 2017

Ember Parrotfish
Credit Wikimedia Commons

An assessment of Hawaii’s reef fish populations shows that 11 species are possibly overfished.

That’s according to a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.

For the past few years, NOAA observed 27 species of reef fish in the main Hawaiian Islands to establish their health and sustainability.

Yellowfin Goatfish
Credit NOAA Fisheries/Andrew E. Gray

Scientists gathered information such as the average length of each species, and combined it with growth and maturity data to calculate the current stock condition.

This is the first time NOAA has presented a detailed assessment of reef fish in the islands.

Marc Nadon  is a scientist with NOAA’s Stock Assessment Program.

He says less than a third of the observed species showed signs of overfishing.

Nadon says the a couple species of goatfishes are also showing signs of overfishing.

The assessment was presented to the Western Pacific Regional Management Council–which will make use of the information as part of its management plan.