One of the main objectives of
the program is to explore the feasibility of boosting natural
populations of popular commercial and game fishes by incorporating
stock enhancement efforts with other fisheries management strategies.
Omilu, or bluefin trevally, are among the most popular of near-shore
sport fish in Hawai‘i. Thanks to the help and support from
local fishermen in the past, the striped mullet and moi enhancement
experiments were largely successful. For many of these experiments,
we investigated which release strategies were ideal for maximizing
post-release survival and thus benefit to the fishery.
Here are the kinds of questions we will be attempting to answer
during this project.
What constitutes a good release site?
Is there an ideal season(s) to release fish that would optimize
What is the optimal size at release that would maximize initial
survival while minimize the cost of production?
Can the fish be taught to avoid predators before being released
into the wild?
What is the optimal release number before an area becomes overloaded?
So far, approximately 3,000 ‘omilu up to six inches long
have been released on the windward side of O‘ahu. Each
of these papio contains an internal coded wire tag (CWT), as
well as an external visual implant elastomer (VIE), located just
behind one or both of the eyes. The elastomer tags, which are
fluorescent and rubbery when dry and are up to one centimeter
in length, are injected with a hypodermic syringe into the adipose
tissue covering the eyes. This tissue is the clear gelatin-like
covering protecting the eyes and is perhaps most obvious on moi
and mullet species.
For those of you who like eating the head and the eyes, no worries;
the tags are nontoxic and will just pass through if eaten.
Students interested in stock enhancement and fisheries-related
research are invited to call Gary Karr at 259-3146 for internship
or volunteer information.