The concern over the dwindlling supply of opihi has renewed calls for a ban on opihi harvesting.
Opihi lovers may think the seafood delicacy is to die for. Many people have actually lost their lives braving high surf just to get to places where opihi shells cling to the rocks.
Opihi pickers said one can find the limpets on Oahu, one just have to know where to look.
June Kawamata is an avid photographer who said she often spots opihi pickers out on the rocks near the Haunama Bay lookout. She is all for some restrictions.
?There should be an on-season and off- season to help it reproduce, not just help yourself to as much as you want every day. There's not going to be anything left," Kawamata said.
Lawmakers are being asked to restrict when and how much opihi a person can have in his or her possession. The new restrictions called for in the bill would cover both commercial harvesters and opihi pickers who harvest for their own use.
?There's so many people now you've got to have controls. A lot of people catch as a trophy--'I caught the most, I caught the biggest one' and that?s wrong," said opihi picker Rod Alderton.
Many agree Oahu is overfished. Opihi pickers closely guard their special spots. But talk to Guy Tamashiro, who operates a popular fish market in Kalihi. He says state data show that opihi is not in short supply, and certainly not on the Big Island where his suppliers are. Tamashiro thinks the harvest restrictions of just a quart of opihi are unrealistic.
?A quart is ridiculous. Who is going to risk their lives for a quart. That?s like two pounds. That's absolutely ridiculous," Tamashiro said.
Two pounds' worth of opihi fits into a small plastic bag. The delicacy sells for close to $13 a pound because the pickers take great risks to claim their prize.