HONOLULU (KHON2) – Officials say over the past century, harvest amounts of opihi have dramatically declined, however, researchers from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa recently found what influences an opihi’s growth pattern.

According to UH’s study, crashing waves and water temperature along rocky shorelines strongly influence an opihi’s growth pattern.

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UH researchers would like to use this information to better develop sustainable fishing of the species, as they look at ways to bring back their population.

According to the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Hawaii Administrative Rules, it is illegal to sell collected opihi, and it can only be picked for personal consumption.