Fishermen like west side resident Edgardo Labrador will need to find a new spot to reel in his catch of the day starting January 1, because fishing will be off limits at the Waikiki to Diamond Head shoreline for its biennial closure.

The closed area starts from the Ewa wall of the Waikiki Natatorium all the way to the Diamond Head Lighthouse, from the high-water mark on shore to a minimum seaward distance of 500 yards, or to the edge of the fringing reef if one occurs beyond 500 yards. 

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) reports Waikiki to Diamond Head is the only area where this management approach is used in the state and it is in the process of evaluating other strategies to achieve fisheries management goals. 

Environmental advocates like the idea of a closure, but think the time frame needs to be longer for it to be effective.  

"Overtime, the fish here has gone down even though there's more at the beginning of the year. So it's not being effective... If it was more than one year, then the fish would grow up and be bigger and there would be more," Gail Grabowsky, associate professor, environmental studies, Chaminade University, said. 

From 2014 to 2015, Grabowsky's environmental studies class surveyed 500 people at Kaimana Beach. They found more than half the people surveyed didn't know about the seasonal closure. Grabowsky thinks a five-year closure would be ideal. 

Another issue she noticed: over-fishing once the area reopens. 

"On January 1 and 2, when it's open to fishing, there's sort of a fishing derby effect where there's a lot of people fishing so it makes this multi-use place really busy," Grabowsky said. 

She suggests another way to keep the area sustainable is opening up all the time but limiting fishing to boats 500 yards offshore. 

To report violations of any fishing regulation, call the DLNR enforcement hotline at 808-643-DLNR.