US: 11 of 27 reef fish species in Hawaii are overfished

In this 2016 photo provided by NOAA, a bluefin trevally swims on a reef off Hawaii's island of Kahoolawe. 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, March 6, 2017 that 11 species including ulua, five surgeonfishes, two goatfishes, and three parrotfishes are being overfished. (Jeanette Clark/NOAA Fisheries via AP)
In this 2013 photo provided by NOAA, a kala, or bluespine unicornfish, swims on a reef off Maui, Hawaii. 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, March 6, 2017 that 11 species including ulua, five surgeonfishes, two goatfishes, and three parrotfishes are being overfished. (Kevin Lino/NOAA Fisheries via AP)

HONOLULU — 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.

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