New Regulations to Increase Fish Prices

(KHNL) - You'll need to dig a little deeper into your wallets to buy some of your favorite fish.

New regulations that will soon go into effect, will prohibit bottomfishing in Hawaiian waters for five months.

Experts say the price for locally-caught bottomfish, including onaga and opakapaka will rise. That's because state and federal officials will implement emergency regulations to end overfishing.

"The seasonal closure is aimed directly towards bringing the mortality down to 24%," said Ed Ebisui, Vice-Chair for the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.

Between May 1st and Sept. 30th, fishermen won't be allowed to catch seven bottomfish species in Hawaiian waters. The fishermen we talked to support the regulations, because it helps the fish population.

"It seemed if there was a need for something to be done, this would be the most logical and most scientifically sound thing to do," said Ed Watamura, fisherman.

He also says the regulations won't really affect fisherman because it'll happen when most of them switch over to trolling. But the seasonal closure will hit consumers, right in their pocketbooks.

"It's something we're almost used to. Obviously at New Year's, the holiday season, the prices go up anyway," said Ray Shiramizu, consumer.

"I agree with it, yes, too bad it happens, but I guess it's needed," said Diaz.