Urgent action is needed to address the increasing pressures and impacts on coral reefs in order to ensure sustainability of our fisheries and our lifestyle in the Hawaiian Islands. One action taken by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, in collaboration with the State of Hawaii, was to create the Fisheries Local Action Strategy for Hawai‘i (FLASH).
The purpose of the FLASH is to develop viable fisheries management solutions, enhance public understanding of Hawai‘i’s coral reefs and facilitate public involvement in coral reef stewardship and supports projects by promoting collaboration, outreach, and engagement amongst stakeholders, offering technical support, and identifying funding opportunities.
Increased fishing pressure not only results in less fish, but also fewer types of fishes and smaller fish. Fishing pressure can also make it more difficult for fish stocks to recover. Coral reef species are particularly vulnerable to fishing pressure, and stocks can be rapidly depleted, potentially to the point of no recovery. The preference for larger and older fish has a disproportionately higher impact on the growth and replenishment of fish populations, since these fish produce more eggs and healthier offspring. If the abundance of a species drops too low, a fish population may lose its ability to rebuild itself. As large, predatory fish species are targeted and depleted, fishers will “fish down marine food webs,” moving on to remaining smaller species which are then, in turn, depleted. Download the Fisheries LAS Problem Statement.
The Fisheries Local Action Strategy’s Steering Committee envisions a Hawaiian Islands with a healthy nearshore marine environment that is maintained through effective management for the benefit and appreciation of all generations.
We believe the island way of life is important to defining who we are, that most people care about the environment, and that informed decision making and proactive stewardship will lead to improved and sustainable coral reef fisheries. By promoting collaboration, outreach, and engagement amongst stakeholders, offering technical support, and identifying funding opportunities, we will help create viable fisheries management solutions, enhance public understanding of Hawai‘i’s coral reefs and facilitate public involvement in coral reef stewardship.
Division of Aquatic Resources
Hawai‘i Coastal Zone Management program
NOAA Fisheries Habitat Conservation Division
NOAA National Ocean Service
NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
The nature Conservancy
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council