HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. officials say the first-ever assessment of Hawaii's reef fish shows that 11 of 27 species are experiencing some level of overfishing.
Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center announced in a statement Monday that 11 species including ulua, five surgeonfishes, two goatfishes, and three parrotfishes are being overfished.
Scientists say the most susceptible species are those that live the longest and are popular local food sources.
NOAA officials say they collected information on fish size, maximum age, growth rates and maturity and compared the results with established guidelines to present fishery managers with options for future sustainability.
Reef fish support local tourism and fishing economies and are important to Native Hawaiian culture and the health of the overall ocean ecosystem.