The Hawaii Longline Association (HLA) has collaborated with members of Hawaii’s fishing industry in donating 2,000 pounds of fresh seafood to Hawaii Foodbank. The donation, done in coordination with United Fishing Agency (Honolulu Auction), Hawaii Seafood Council, Nico’s Pier 38, and Pacific Ocean Producers, is the beginning of a new pilot program with the Hawaii Foodbank.
Through the partnership, Hawaii Foodbank plans to purchase $50,000 worth of seafood landed by Hawaii longline vessels. The purchase will ensure that Hawaii Foodbank will be able to meet the needs of Hawaii residents facing hardship as a result of COVID-19. It will also support Hawaii’s longline fishermen, who, like many other fisheries across the nation, have suffered devastating losses in revenue within the last 4 weeks.
“We’re pleased to partner with Hawaii Foodbank on this important initiative supplying high-quality fresh fish to community members in need during this COVID-19 situation,” said Eric Kingma, PhD, executive director, Hawaii Longline Association. “The face of hunger is changing every day and our nearly 140 vessels operating out of Honolulu Harbor are ready and able to make critical contributions to Hawaii’s fragile food supply.”
The Hawaii longline fishery lands around 30 million pounds of fish per year, and generates more than $100 million in landed dock-side value, placing Honolulu Harbor 6th in the Nation in terms of fisheries port value.
Fish caught by HLA, including ahi, marlin, and opah, will, according to Hawaii Foodbank, “be distributed through [Hawaii Foodbank’s] network of food partner agencies at distribution sites across Oahu. United Fishing Agency will break down the fish into filets and package into insulated boxes for distribution.”
For more information on the work being done by Hawaii Foodbank to support those in need during the current crisis, visit hawaiifoodbank.org.