Bottom Fishing

bottomfish species

Bottomfish species covered by these rules include: a) ‘ula‘ula koa‘e or onaga (Etelis coruscans); b) ‘ula‘ula or ehu (E. carbunculus); c) kalekale (Pristipomoides sieboldii); d) ‘ōpakapaka (P. filamentosus); e) ‘ūkīkiki or gindai (P. zonatus); f) hāpu‘u (Epinephelus quernus); and g) lehi (Aphareus rutilans). These species are often referred to as the “Deep 7.”

Closed season

Unlawful to fish for, possess, or sell bottomfish species listed above during the announced closed season, except by permit.

Gear restrictions

Unlawful to take bottomfish with any trap, trawl, bottomfish longline or net. Unlawful to possess, while on board a vessel, both bottomfish and any trap, trawl, bottomfish longline, or net other than scoop net or Kona crab net. Scoop nets may be used to bring on board a vessel any bottomfish that has already been caught. Kona crab nets may be used to take Kona crabs.

Trip reporting

Commercial fishers must report all “Deep 7” bottomfish catches within five days after the end of a trip.

Minimum size

Onaga and ‘ōpakapaka minimum size for sale is one pound.

Non-commercial bag limits

Unlawful for any person without a current commercial marine license to take or possess more than a combined total of five “Deep 7” bottomfish per day.

Bottomfish restricted fishing areas

Unlawful for any person to take or possess bottomfish while in a vessel that is drifting or anchored within any closed bottomfish restricted fishing area as indicated on this map, except in times of emergency.

Bottomfish fishing vessel identification number

Unlawful for any person to take or possess bottomfish while on a vessel without registering the vessel with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and obtaining a bottomfish fishing vessel identification number. You can register the vessel online or with this downloadable form. Upon registration, the vessel will be assigned a bottomfish fishing vessel identification number, described below. This number, followed by the letters “BF”, must be displayed on the sides of the hull or superstructure. For HA numbers, the “BF” shall not be displayed next to the HA number. Letters must be no less than six inches high and three inches wide in black or a contrasting solid color to the background. (Download a diagram showing how to display the vessel identification number and BF letters.)

  • The bottomfish fishing vessel identification number shall be the same as the current HA number, US Coast Guard documentation number, or NMFS Federal fishing permit number. If the vessel has not been assigned any of these numbers, DLNR will assign the vessel a unique number.
  • The bottomfish fishing vessel identification number shall be valid from Sep 1 to Aug 31, and must be renewed annually.
  • Fishing for deep-7 bottomfish may be closed during the valid registration period and all fishing for bottomfish would be prohibited, even if the registration is valid.

Coordinates of bottomfish restricted fishing areas (BRFAs)

The geographic boundaries of all BRFAs are defined by parallels of latitude (north and south boundaries) and meridians of longitude (west and east boundaries). The inshore boundary of all areas is given as a minimum distance from shore in nautical miles. Download a pdf file (one page) showing detailed endpoint coordinates.

Reminder: BRFAs are closed to bottom fishing, except those re-opened as indicated.

Geographic boundaries

(North, South, West, East sides; inshore boundary)
(Click on the links for pdf maps)

BRFA A: Ka‘ula Rock (1.5 MB)
North: 21°44′ N South: 21°41′ N
West: 160°39′ W East: 160°30′ W
Offshore distance: 1.25 nm

BRFA B: Ni‘ihau (2.2 MB)
North: 21°50’25 N South: 21°46’30 N
West: 160°07’30 W East: 160°04’30 W
Offshore distance: 2.0 nm

BRFA C: Kaua‘i (2.1 MB) Re-opened to bottom fishing
North: 21°52’30 N South: 21°50’30 N
West: 159°32′ W East: 159°23′ W
Offshore distance: 0.5 nm

BRFA D: O‘ahu (1.9 MB)
North: 21°39′ N South: 21°36’18 N
West: 158°24′ W East: 158°15′ W
Additional point: 21°36′ N, 158°24′ W
Offshore distance: 1.5 nm

BRFA E: O‘ahu (2.5 MB)
North: 21°25′ N South: 21°17′ N
West: 157°41′ W East: 157°32′ W
Additional point: 21°23’38″‘ N, 157°41’ W
Offshore distance: 1.5 nm

BRFA F: Penguin Bank (1.5 MB) Re-opened to bottom fishing
North: 21°02′ N South: 20°55′ N
West: 157°34′ W East: 157°22′ W
Offshore distance: 5.0 nm

BRFA G: Moloka‘i (2.2 MB)
North: 21°14′ N South: 21°10′ S
West: 156°58′ W East: 156°52′ W
Offshore distance: 0.25 nm

BRFA H: Moloka‘i-Maui (2.3 MB)
North: 21°07′ N South: 21°03′ N
West: 156°42′ W East: 156°38′ W
Offshore distance: 1.5 nm

BRFA J: Maui (2.6 MB) Re-opened to bottom fishing
North: 20°55′ N South: 20°47′ N
West: 156°08′ W East: 155°59′ W
Offshore distance: 0.5 nm

BRFA K: Hawai‘i (2.8 MB)
North: 20°21′ N South: 20°05’30 N
West: 155°53′ W East: 155°25′ W
Offshore distance: 0.5 nm

BRFA L: Hawai‘i (2.3 MB) Re-opened to bottom fishing
North: 19°44′ N South: 19°35′ N
West: 154°59’50 W East: 154°54′ W
Offshore distance: 0.15 nm

BRFA M: Hawai‘i (1.9 MB)
North: 18°57′ N South: 18°51′ N
West: 155°41′ W East: 155°37′ W
Offshore distance: 0.5 nm

HAR 13-74 (95 KB), HAR 13-94 (3.6 MB)

For the latest landings information, go to the WPRFMC Fishermen Resources site.

To download shapefiles and create custom maps, go to the BRFA Downloading Site.

To access an interactive map which shows GPS coordinates or your location within the State of Hawai‘i Commercial Fishing Reporting Grid, go to the State of Hawai‘i Commercial Fishing Reporting Grid Map. Cursor coordinates are shown at the map’s lower left corner. The map can show your location if you are using a mobile device with location services enabled.


Bottomfish News

pdf files
Vol 15, March 2013
Vol 16, November 2013
Vol 17, August 2014
Vol 18, June 2015
Vol 19, July 2017
Vol 20, June 2018
Vol 21, August 2019