Oama. Image courtesy of DLNR
Oama are juvenile weke, which are members of the goatfish family, and are an important species to anglers as they are excellent table fare. In addition, large schools of oama in the late summer are an important food source for larger predators like papio, ulua and even green sea turtles. Take of oama by hook-and-line fishers is limited to 50 per angler per day. DLNR’s regulations regarding oama are located at Hawaii Administrative Rules 13-95-24.
“This type of case is a high priority for DOCARE,” said Jason Redulla, acting DOCARE enforcement chief. “In late summer, oama congregate in large schools along Hawai‘i’s shorelines, where they are easily caught using hook and line. This schooling trait makes them very susceptible to take by illegal throw net.”
He said by using a small mesh net, one fisher could wipe out the whole school.
“Any fish that are lucky enough to escape usually break up and fishers in that area will not see another school of oama until the following summer,” said Redulla, adding this case was a high priority for DLNR not just because the net was contraband, but also because of the manner in which it was used.
“I’d like to thank our DOCARE officer for volunteering his time on his day off to cite the individual, and I think it shows our dedication to resource
The public can report natural resources violations to DOCARE at 643-DLNR. Callers may remain anonymous.