Scientists urge lawmakers to protect Hawaii opihi

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Experts want Hawaii lawmakers to update regulations meant to protect opihi, a delicious mollusk whose numbers have crashed in parts of Hawaii.

Biologists from the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology told a House panel on Wednesday that stocks of the tasty ocean snails off Oahu's shores are at dire lows. They said that with better management, Oahu's opihi can make a comeback and other islands' pressured stocks can be protected.

The biologists say that size regulations meant to safeguard opihi are failing. They suggest instead that communities designate areas that they let rest for perhaps two years at a time, to give the opihi a chance to mature and spawn.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.