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Economic Fieldwork on Pelagic Fisheries in Hawaii

Follow-up to the Hawaii Pelagic Fishing Vessel Economics Project (HIFIVE)

Progress Reports (PDF): FY 2010, FY 2009, FY 2008, FY 2007, FY 2006, FY 2005, FY 2004, FY 2003, FY 2002, FY 2001, FY 2000

Project Overview
In 1994 the HIFIVE project surveyed 95 Hawaii longline vessels regarding their vessel operations. Funding from this project will help support resurveying the Hawaii-based domestic longline fleet with the objective of providing revised baseline data for conducting regulatory impact analyses on future regulations.

Since the 1994 survey there have been substantial changes in the composition of the fleet, as well as a number of new entrants. Particularly significant have been changes in the ownership of larger vessels as well as a general shift in fishing operations and practices toward different types of tuna targeting (bigeye, yellowfin, and albacore) as compared to an earlier emphasis by a substantial part of the swordfish fleet.

Other substantial changes included:

  • the movement of most of the largest, more modern longline vessels to the East coast (with some returning to Hawaii);
  • the upgrading of a number of the smaller tuna longliners to mid-sized vessels;
  • changes in targeting and gear utilization rates by mixed target and swordfish target trips;
  • movement of mid-sized longliners targeting swordfish between Hawaii and California during different seasons of the year;
  • expansion of tuna longlining in areas south of Hawaii, and;
  • changes in the swordfish market.

Project researchers expect that these changes have altered the basic relationships between physical characteristics of the vessels, operating levels, fixed and variable costs, and revenue. By-catch and fishery interaction issues have become more important management issues, and an expanded survey of vessel equipment and operations should provide important renewed baseline information for analyses of these issues. Furthermore, in 1993 many vessels had limited experience in the Hawaii-based longline fishery. The continuing participants now have substantially more experience, and this combination of greater experience with entry of new participants and exit of some previous participants provides an excellent opportunity to develop an information base for dynamic analysis. A comparative study of changes in vessel outfitting, labor practices, input economics, and operations would be instructive in terms of identifying critical behavioral variables of change which may be relevant to anticipating response to regulation.

Year 1 funding for this project awarded in October 1999.

Principal Investigator:
Dr. MinLing Pan
National Marine Fisheries Service
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Honolulu Laboratory
2570 Dole Street, Room 219
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Phone (808) 983-5347
FAX (808) 983-2902
email: Minling.Pan@noaa.gov

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This page updated September 30, 2010