By Beth Hillyer
KAILUA BAY (KHNL) -- A ban has been in effect for more than a year now on Maui and parts of Oahu. Many scientists believe gillnet fishing is destructive to the fishing stock. So they are researching if fish populations can bounce back if nets are banned.
Kailua Bay, a retreat for beachgoers, is a science experiment for researchers at the Oceanic Institute. "We are going to be comparing an area here in Kailua and Lanikai where they have banned nets to another area in Waimanalo where they haven't banned nets and see if there is a difference between the two over the next five years", says Oceanic Institute President Bruce Anderson.
Over the decades the near shore fisheries have been depleted of recreational and commercial fish.
"Lay gillnets are thought to be one of the more destructive fishing methods if not used properly and the recent ban we hope will have some impact in allowing the fish populations to come back."
Research assistants bring in the nets. "We are going to be sampling the near shore surf zone in Kailua Bay today and it's a real important habitat for a number of resource species highly prized both recreationally and commercially in Hawaii things like moi, papio weke, oama, explains principal investigator Alan Friedlander.
Research assistant Scott Naguwa is trying to protect Hawaii's precious resources.