Sustainable Fisheries Division

Fishing boats anchored near shore. Photo: John Calvo

Going Fishing: Guam

Resources
Local Weather Forecast
Local Tides
National Data Buoy Center
Nautical Charts
User Friendly Fishing Regulation Booklet-Guam (PDF)
Bathymetry Mapping (University of Hawaii)
Marianas Trench Marine National Monument
Guam Coral Reef Information
Research and Studies
Cost-earnings Study of the Mariana Archipelago Small Boat Fisheries
Fishing Community Profiles: Guam and American Samoa

Sunset fishing from shore. Photo: John CalvoNon-commercial fishing plays an important role in preserving the history and identity of the indigenous Chamorro people and contributes to their subsistence needs. Sharing fish is also culturally important; a high percentage of fish Guam residents consume are caught by someone in their immediate or extended family. Both non-commercial and commercial fishermen regularly share fish for holidays, celebrations, and village fiestas – a practice that garners fishermen respect in their communities.

Pelagic trolling, bottomfishing and spearfishing are common. Most non-commercial bottomfish fishermen operate in shallower waters using boats less than 25 feet in length and fish for subsistence or to make a little additional income. The non-commercial component of the annual bottomfish catch is substantial, typically above 50% and sometimes much greater. Snappers, groupers, jacks and emperors comprise much of the shallow-water bottomfish catch.

Guam does not have a large domestic pelagic fishery, so most pelagic fishing is conducted from trailered recreational boats. At last estimate there were approximately 400 such vessels. Skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna, mahi-mahi, blue marlin, and wahoo are the primary species targeted by Guam’s pelagic fishermen.

Asian tourism and the U.S. military presence provide sportfishing opportunities, and Guam does have a small pelagics-oriented charter fishing fleet. This fleet of about 10 vessels between 30 and 50 feet in length principally fishes out of Hagatna and Agat. Some charter operators will go bottomfishing upon request or to provide trip diversity.

Guam has a small number of fishing clubs. The spearfishing group Marianas Underwater Fishing Federation hosts an annual competition to promote the sport, safety, camaraderie, and conservation. The Guam Fishermen’s Cooperative Association hosts the Annual Guam-Marianas International Fishing Derby during which an average of 70 vessels and 300 fishermen compete. The Guam Organization of Saltwater Anglers hosts an annual shoreline tournament and the Guam Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources hosts fishing derbies for children on occasion.