Bonefishes in Hawai’i and the importance of angler-based data to inform fisheries management

Keith T. Kamikawa, Alan M. Friedlander, Kimberlee K. Harding, Alex Filous, Mary K. Donovan, Eva Schemmel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Bonefishes in Hawai’i have had a cultural and subsistence importance since the early Hawaiians harvested and raised them. Today, the recreational fishery for bonefishes in Hawai’i continues to expand while the commercial fishery has witnessed a 99 % decline in landings over the past century. The ‘Ō‛io Tagging Project arose with a consensus that collecting biological and fisheries data on bonefishes is essential for properly managed resources, but engaging and disseminating this knowledge back to resource users is equally as important. Since 2003, 770 anglers have recorded >10,600 fishing hours, while tagging 3420 and recapturing 67 bonefishes. Tagged bonefishes exhibited extremely high site fidelity, with the majority recaptured <1 km from their original tagging location. Growth parameter estimates derived from recapture data yields K = 0.104 and L = 30.17. Length frequency distributions from catch curve analysis indicated a total mortality rate of Z = 0.643. Natural mortality was calculated as M = 0.046–0.058 and fishing mortality (F) was then estimated as 0.597–0.585. There are two species of bonefishes in Hawai’i. The round jaws (Albula glossodonta) comprise 88 % of all tagged bonefishes and are larger, on average, by 5.9 cm compared to the sharp jaws (A. virgata). Through the ‘Ō‛io Tagging Project, anglers are empowered to contribute to sound science and be part of the scientific process, which has increased their interest in providing management solutions to ensure the long-term sustainability of this valuable resource.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2147-2157
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Angler-based tagging program
  • Bonefishes
  • Fish movement
  • Growth
  • Hawai’i
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Bonefishes in Hawai’i and the importance of angler-based data to inform fisheries management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this