Living in Hawaii is expensive. Some might say almost impossible! Some might say if you can not afford it leave! Members of my family have moved. Moved to the ninth island, Las Vegas. Where the cost of living is cheaper and there seems to be an abundance of jobs. Yet for those of us that do hold on to these island and our roots we try to survive the best way we know how. And for many fishing, hunting, and farming is a common practice in efforts to subsidize income and feed our families.
For those of us that own nothing and continue to live paycheck to paycheck, fishing or hunting is a vital component the basic means of survival. When we take away an individuals ability to hunt both in land and ocean, we effectively made it harder to make end meet.
In Hawaii, there are many that constantly try to bring to an end our ability to feed people. The latest example was November 2, 2017 when a group of legislators orchestrated an informational conference on coral reef bleaching, overfishing, and the way ahead. There goal to create new laws and legislative mandate to close of 30% of the Hawaiian Island. Take into account the recent closures to the North West Hawaiian Islands, that is over 80% of what used to be fishing grounds and a food source to our local population. So why are certain politicians making it harder to survive in Hawaii?
There were many holes in yesterdays lecture by Dr. Friedlander. But the news picked up on it and made it a life or death situation. We have 90% less fish than 1900. The amount of ulua is depleted, their are no more Oio, the stocks of Moi has plummeted. Over 50% of the reef in Hawaii is dead? This a real gloom and doom situation. So how do we keep fishing grounds open if it seems like all it about to be lost. Well we can first start with filling in the hole and fact checking the alleged research produced by Dr. Allan Friedlander.
Dr. Friedlander stated in his discussion that there are 90% less fish in Hawaii based on Commercial catch data since 1900. This statement stuck with news reporters and certain legislators. However, if you look at the data, there are certain events and situations that caused less fish to be caught by commercial fishermen. Friedlander did not take into account or choses not to take into account that in early 1900 Ahi, Aku, Marlin and other Palagic fish, were reported in the commercial reef fish data. Then they separated the Pelagic and reef fish. This alone accounted most of the over a 80% decline. As a scientist when talking about reef fish, this guys should have factored this in.
Then Dr. Friedlander also stated that the population of ulua dropped dramatically based on the commercial fish catches. Well another factor he did not take into account was Ciguatoxin, which accounted for the massive drop in the capture of Ulua.
On top of that he stated that there was a massive drop in Oio or bonefish. This too was based on commercial catch reports. Back in the day people loved eating oio, today not the same. The price of bonefish is not worth the time to commercial fishermen. Therefore the bonefish were not targeted.
Finally he talks about moi and how there was a missive drop in the population based on commercial catch reports. Again the laws changed, which eliminated that fisheries.
What is the motive of Dr. Friedlander? Why would he report to legislators false data?
Dr. Friedlander also stated that he would like to see permanent MPA where no fishing was allowed in order to protect the reefs. In as a matter of fact, he would like to see no fishing on 30% of the coast line. Yet if you listed to the coral reef presentation by NOAA, they didn't even mention fishing as a way to protect the reefs-Not Once!
The reef is really resilient. Most the the 50% of reef that the scientist talk about has bounced back. I've seeing it with my own eye. Yet the news and legislators are making it seem like an all or nothing approach to protect the reefs. Not targeting the real cause of reef degradation-run off, sewage, and sedimentation. They picked alleged overfishing to fix the reef problem.
Where did the money for the 25,000 dives surveys come from? If you follow the money you will see that most of the funding comes from organizations that want to ban fishing all together.
Based on the sponsor list presented by Dr. Friedlander is a big contributor to this endeavor. It is ironic that organizations such as the Nature Conservancy would kill thousands of animals in the forest and in turn kill thousands effectively taking food away from families making ends meet. Then turn to the ocean to promote and create closures, which effectively deny access to our fishermen eliminating another food source.
These lone politicians that allowed this fiasco to happen should be are responsible for creating laws that will take food away from families and make it harder to survive. It is already tough enough to survive in Hawaii, why are they making it more difficult. Must be an election year.
The conference was put together by Representative Kaniela Ing (Maui), by Representative Cedric Gates (West Oahu), Representative Chris Lee (Waimanalo), and Representative Nicole Lowen (Kona).