Fishing activities on Guam can be divided into offshore and inshore fishing. Offshore fishing typically involves small boat (12 to 48 feet), 1 to 2-day trolling and bottom fishing trips that usually originate from one of the three principal harbors located on the west coast and southern tip of the island. In recent years, the sportfishing charter boat industry has increased significantly. Inshore fishing is typically conducted without the use of a boat and consists mostly of nearshore casting, netting, and spearfishing. In addition to artisnal/non-commercial fishing, there is a commercial fishery on Guam, with fish sold through a cooperative and several other vendors. Roadside vendors often sell their individual catch or fish imported from other islands.
The Aquatic Section of DAWR has been conducting offshore and inshore surveys since the early 1970’s. The data are the basis for management proposals such as the Marine Preserve Areas. This section of the web site includes the annual reports since 1990-2000, which detail data and conclusions.
The Aquatic Section helps to develop the fisheries by placing fish aggregation devices (FADs), fishing platforms, and other aids to fishermen, while at the same time monitoring and managing the fisheries through initiatives to foster health of the reefs on which the fish depend, including placing shallow water moorings to prevent reef damage and setting aside Marine Preserve Areas (restricted or no fishing) to help restock the fishing areas.
The Aquatic Section also takes care of the freshwater fisheries and habitats, including monitoring for introduced pest species of animals and plants. They take a watershed approach to fisheries management, recognizing that what happens on the land can flow down via the rivers to to reefs (poster in development for 2013).
Important parts of work of the Aquatic Section are education and conservation. Explore their projects in the EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH tab of this webpage; these will include posters and pamphlets (thumbprints to be added at a later date).