HI - Noncommercial Fishing Is Booming in Hawaii During Pandemic
Noncommercial fishing in Hawaii has been booming since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many have turned to it out of necessity, according to fishing supply store personnel.
Since the novel coronavirus made its way to Hawaii in March, Brent Young, owner of Brian’s Fishing Supply in Honolulu, has observed more interest in fishing. Some of his customers are new fishers who want to learn, and others are seniors who haven’t fished in decades, but have had more time to do so.
“There’s no sports, there’s nothing to watch, there’s nothing to do. So they come back and they just want to fish,” Young said.
At times he’s had trouble keeping up with demand for fishing supplies. He had to install racks to a previously empty part of a wall in his store to make sure he had enough supplies, such as hooks, tackle and reel, available for customers.
And while many of them are looking to fish just as a hobby, Young has also noticed more customers who are out of work and need to fish.
“We’ve had a lot … of people come in to say they catch the food because they’re not working, and they’ve been very thankful that we’ve been open,” he said.
Young’s experiences align with those at other supply shops and, along with limited available data, reveal the importance of noncommercial fishing in Hawaii and how people have turned to it since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak.