Pacific Fisheries Coalition

 

 

 

 

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Help support marine conservation efforts in Hawaii and the Central Pacific.

Pacific Fisheries Coalition is a project of Hawaii Audubon Society.

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  pacific fisheries coalition

Pacific Fisheries Coalition represents a unique collaboration between conservationists and fishermen to promote the protection and responsible use of marine resources through education and advocacy in Hawai`i and the Pacific.

A joint project of the Hawaii Audubon Society and the Hawai`i Fishermen's Foundation, PFC has received major support from the PEW Charitable Trusts, the Harold K. L. Castle Foundation, and the Marisla Foundation.

 

CONSERVATION GROUPS WELCOME U. S. PACIFIC ISLANDS REGIONAL OCEAN PARTNERSHIP
Honolulu, Hawai`i - September 4, 2012.

Governor Abercrombie's announcement of the signing of the U.S. Pacific Islands Regional Ocean Partnership (PROP) agreement drew praise from a group of conservation organizations that had recently completed a workshop on the National Ocean Policy and the Hawai`i Ocean Resources Management Plan...

Read the entire press release.

Download a copy (Word document).

 

NOAA Listening Session on Open Ocean Aquaculture
held on April 27th, 2010 in Honolulu

Testimony given by Linda Paul, Executive Director for Aquatics, Hawai`i Audubon Society.

...The Hawaii Audubon Society supports setting enforceable National Open Ocean Aquaculture Standards and Guiding Principles, and a national regulatory framework. However such standards will need to be adaptable to the geological, environmental and cultural requirements of the areas where ocean aquaculture enterprises would be located...

Read testimony

 

University Of Hawaii Professor Charles Birkeland Reveals A Powerful Slide Early On In His Presentation About The Importance Of Big Female Fish...

An article in a series about inshore fish of Hawaii. The 12-part series is a project of the Hawaii Fisheries Local Action Strategy.
By Scott Radway

  Birkeland is talking to a crowd gathered at Bishop Museum about the practice of taking the largest fish from a fishery and allowlng the younger fish to grow. But when it comes to egg production, he says, that might be counterproductive....

Download the Fish Life article, pdf with full color photographs.
(pdf, 320 KB)
FishLife is produced by the Division of Aquatic Resources and funded by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program.

 

INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN SHARK FINS, & ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED, AND UNREGULATED SHARK FISHING

BY LINDA PAUL

Executive Director for Aquatics,
Hawaii Audubon Society
850 Richards Street Suite 505
Honolulu, HI 96813
pfc.org
hawaiiaudubon.com
International Director,
Endangered Species Program
Earthtrust
815 Pahumele Pl.
Kailua, HI 96734
linpaul@aloha.net
earthtrust.org

  The unsustainable international trade in sharks, fins, parts, and derivatives, and the illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing of sharks for the fin trade poses a global threat to wild populations of sharks and rays and to their associated ecosystems...

Download the pdf with full color photographs.
(pdf, 1.4MB)
Copyright 2009 Hawaii Audubon Society

 

Hawai`i Aquatics Conference - January 10-11, 2009

Sponsored by: Hawai`i Audubon Society
Lynn McCrory, PAHIO Development, Inc.
PEW Environmental Group Department of Land and Natural Resources
Marine Conservation Biology Institute
Conservation Council of Hawai`i

The Hawai`i Aquatics Conferences arose from the realization that aquatics research, management, education, and policy planning consist of many individual and generally uncoordinated efforts by people who rarely interact with one another. Holding a state-wide meeting every two years would provide a regular forum for managers, fishermen, educators, conservationists, policy makers and the general public to share information and ideas on better ways to manage integrated aquatic systems (streams and riparian areas, wetlands, estuaries, lagoons, coral reefs, and nearshore waters) and to explore various resource management approaches.

Download the conference agenda, including presentation abstracts.
(pdf, 1.7MB)

 

IN THE PRESS

TURTLE ISLAND RESTORATION NETWORK V. HAWAII LONGLINE ASSOCIATION
(March 14, 2012 - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit)

Download the Opinion. (pdf)

 

Net patrol unearths 2 truckloads of netting
(January 24, 2012 - The GardenIsland.com )

WAILUA - More than two dozen people spent a couple of hours removing two large chunks of derelict netting which washed ashore during the recent storm at a Wailua beach.

Volunteers from Surfrider Kaua`i on Sunday joined Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park and other volunteers to unearth a large portion of the derelict netting at the shorebreak located between Lydgate South and the Kamalani Bridge. Others broke apart the second chunk of netting using serrated knives.

Dr. Robert Zelkovsky of the Surfrider Foundation said the nets were not part of the tsunami debris from the Japan earthquake in March, but probably were cut loose from long-liners a distance away from Hawai`i, or possibly were lost from a boat and washed to shore by the ocean currents...

(read article, The GardenIsland.com)

 

Company files discharge permit for proposed ahi farm
(January 20, 2012 - West Hawaii Today )

Tom Oiye is rallying West Hawaii residents, after he learned the state was taking comments on a discharge permit filed by Hawaii Oceanic Technology.

Oiye in April founded Respect the Ocean, a nonprofit organization created to help West Hawaii residents express concerns about open ocean aquaculture, protect the island's Class AA waters and provide more information about aquaculture. He learned this week, mostly by accident, that Hawaii Oceanic Technology, which has proposed an ahi farm off Kawaihae, had a discharge permit before the state's Department of Health...

"I'm worried about the metabolic process of high energy fish, carnivorous fish making their own fertilizer," Oiye said. "There's an awful lot of interesting scientific evidence that these farms do have detrimental impacts. There's a host of problems that are there that haven't been explored too much."

(read article, West Hawaii Today)

 

U.S. tightens fishing policy, setting 2012 catch limits for all managed species
(January 8, 2012 - Washington Post )

In an effort to sustain commercial and recreational fishing for the next several decades, the United States this year will become the first country to impose catch limits for every species it manages, from Alaskan pollock to Caribbean queen conch.

Although the policy has attracted scant attention outside the community of those who fish in America and the officials who regulate them, it marks an important shift in a pursuit that has helped define the country since its founding.

Unlike most recent environmental policy debates, which have divided neatly along party lines, this one is about a policy that was forged under President George W. Bush and finalized with President Obama's backing.

(read article, Washington Post)

 

Illegal fishing killing off sharks
(November 17, 2011 - Washington Post - CBS News - Video )

Fishermen entering U.S. waters illegally from Mexico are using banned gill nets that have been diminishing the numbers of already endangered sharks.

(see CBS video, Washington Post)

 

Open-ocean aquaculture company receives patent for fish pen
(October 7, 2011 - West Hawaii Today )

A Hawaii open-ocean aquaculture company received a patent for its fish pen this week...

The company, formed in 2006, has permits and approval for a 247-acre lease site 2.6 miles off Malae Point, on the North Kohala coast. The company will be permitted to operate 12 Oceanspheres in the site, with the goal of producing 6,000 tons of tuna annually.

"The goal of the company is to demonstrate new fish farming technology that allows pelagic species such as tuna to be grown in deep ocean waters where constant currents and large volumes of clean water assure fish health and rapid mineralization of effluents," Spencer said.

(read article, West Hawaii Today)

 

Scientists call for end to deep-sea fishing
(September 6, 2011 - The Washington Post )

Industrial fishing in the deep sea should be banned because it has depleted fish stocks that take longer to recover than other species, according to a paper to be released this week by an international team of marine scientists...

Describing the open ocean as "more akin to a watery desert," the scientists argue that vessels have targeted patches of productive areas sequentially, depleting the fish there and destroying deep-sea corals before moving on to new areas...

Elliott Norse, president of the Marine Conservation Institute and the paper's lead author, said the world has turned to deep-sea fishing "out of desperation" without realizing fish stocks there take much longer to recover.

(read article, The Washington Post)

 

Kona Company Taking Fish Farming Far Offshore
(August 30, 2011 - West Hawaii Today )

Sims, the co-founder and co-Chief Executive Officer of newly formed Kampachi Farms, wants his experimental fish pen, called Velella, to usher in a new day of open-ocean fish farming in waters off the United States.

"Given the growing seafood needs of the planet -- the growing population, growing affluence and growing appreciation of the healthful benefits of eating fish," there needs to be a way to eat fish without depleting the ocean's natural stocks, according to Sims.

Kampachi Farms has a year to figure out if its experiment is working. Its permit from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to operate the experiment expires in April.

"It's an innovative experiment," said Michael Tosatto, NOAA's Honolulu-based regional administrator of the Pacific Islands, who went on a site visit Monday. "What he learns here will affect not only this project, but the whole industry in the future."

(read article, West Hawaii Today)

 

Microbiologist questions aquaculture ecosystems
(June 13, 2011 - West Hawaii Today )

Aquaculture is supposed to take the pressure off ocean fish stocks and help avert a global food shortage, but Kohala resident and microbiologist Wendy Minor believes some forms of fish farming may be creating more problems than they are solving...

The fundamental paradox of many current forms of aquaculture is its reliance on wild fish for feed ingredients. Small fish, such as herring, anchovy, sardines and mackerel, are used either whole or as byproducts, then reduced into fish meal and fish oil to feed several aquaculture species, Minor said.

Fish food and fish meal are not the same thing. Fish food is a mix of fish parts with other types of agricultural products, including corn, soy and animal parts (chicken feathers and slaughter waste). Fish meal is "a pretty nasty product" and, depending on where the fish comes from, it can be contaminated with chemicals and pollutants, Minor said...

(read article, West Hawaii Today)

 

Distaste widening for shark's fin soup
(June 5, 2011 - The Washington Post )

In the United States, which has historically focused on protecting sharks in local and federal waters, states are going after imported shark products. Washington state enacted a law last month to ban the sale and trade of shark fins. A similar bill has passed both legislative houses in Oregon and is awaiting the governor's signature, and California is poised to adopt its own ban within weeks. Hawaii, Guam and the Marianas Islands have enacted shark-fin bans...

"We protect sharks in our own water, but we contribute to the slaughter of sharks worldwide by importing thousands of pounds of shark fins," said Michael Sutton, who directs the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Center for the Future of the Oceans and helped craft the shark-fin ban that passed the California Assembly last month.

Meanwhile, activists in several other nations are working to enact legislation. The Chilean Senate has approved a bill that would require fishing vessels to land sharks with their fins attached, and its chamber of deputies will probably adopt it in the next few weeks. The Bahamas, hoping to head off foreign shark-fin buyers, is about to ban the commercial harvest of sharks. And the Maldives, which prohibits shark fishing in its waters, is getting ready to implement a ban on the fin trade.

(read article, The Washington Post)

 

Longliners face criticism
(May 2, 2011 - West Hawaii Today )

Longline fishermen are Hawaii's small boat commercial fishermen's number one concern, followed by criticisms of the state's bottomfishing policies.

Small boat fishermen also appear to be underreporting the numbers of commercial fisherman, classifying themselves as recreational fishermen, even when they sell fish.

"The most consistently negative comments received from commercial fishermen were with respect to the Hawaii longline fleet," the report, authored by Justin Hospital, Skaidra Scholey Bruce and Minling Pan, said. "The general consensus among small boat fishers is that longline boats are seen as competition, in terms of catch and marketing, and many feel that they are extracting a disproportionate amount of fishery resources. Longliners are generally seen as the 'bad guys,' underregulated, and favored over the small boat fishermen by regulatory agencies and the auction."

(read article, West Hawaii Today)

 

Panel advises boosting quota for bottom fish
(March 16, 2011 - Star-Advertiser )

More of Hawaii's sought-after bottom fish appear to be headed to retail shelves in the 2011-2012 season.

A major advisory body to the U.S. secretary of commerce has recommended increasing the catch quota by 50 percent for seven bottom fish in the Hawaiian Islands...

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, meeting in American Samoa, recommended setting the total allowable catch for bottom fish to 383,000 pounds for the 2011-2012 season, up from the 254,050 pounds set for 2010-2011.

(read article, Star-Advertiser)

 

Open-ocean aquaculture needs more scrutiny
(March 04, 2011 - Star-Advertiser )

Despite significant environmental, cultural and economic concerns about open-ocean aquaculture (OOA), permitting and other forms of government support make Hawaii "ground zero" for testing this risky new technology.

The dominant story justifying OOA is part of a larger story about food systems that views highly industrialized, globalized and large-scale production as the only way to feed the world. However, as we are well aware in Hawaii - due partly to the ingenious example of loko i'a, or Hawaiian fishponds - smaller-scale, community-based and localized systems of production may present more environmentally sustainable and socially just alternatives.

Additionally, whether or not marine aquaculture to date has provided food security is highly debated, and many studies have shown that local livelihoods and food systems - especially those of the poor in developing countries - have been severely undermined by aquaculture production for richer nations...

(read commentary, Star-Advertiser)

 

Fish farming bills mulled
(January 25, 2011 - Hawaii Tribune Herald )

State legislators will consider two bills taking a different approach to new regulations on open water fish farming.

The House bill, introduced by Rep. Mele Carroll, who represents Molokai, Lanai and parts of Maui, and Puna Rep. Faye Hanohano, would prohibit any new permits for open water mariculture. The Senate bill, introduced by Oahu Sen. Pohai Ryan, would require aquaculture applicants to complete an environmental impact statement and pay a to-be-determined percentage of gross sales proceeds to the state...

House Bill 221 would prohibit issuing "any permit allowing the construction, expansion or transfer of any open water commercial finfish mariculture facility." The bill also refers to other concerns, including, "threatening the marine environment with escaped farmed fish, polluting local waters with heavier concentrations of nitrogen from fish fecal contamination and interfering with marine wildlife."

(read article, Hawaii Tribune Herald)

 

Congress passes shark protection bill
(December 21, 2010 - Washington Post )

Lawmakers have passed a landmark shark conservation bill, closing loopholes that had allowed the lucrative shark fin trade to continue thriving off the West Coast.

The measure - which the Senate passed Monday and the House passed Tuesday morning - requires any vessel to land sharks with their fins attached, and prevents non-fishing vessels from transporting fins without their carcasses. The practice of shark finning, which is now banned off the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico but not the Pacific, has expanded worldwide due to rising demand for shark's fin soup in Asia.

"Shark finning has fueled massive population declines and irreversible disruption of our oceans," said Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), the bill's author, in a statement. "Finally we've come through with a tough approach to tackle this serious threat to our marine life."...

(read article, Washington Post)

 

Meeting to address overfishing of bigeye
(Dec 06, 2010 - Star-Advertiser )

A group of island nations meeting at a conference in Honolulu starting today says it wants the United States to significantly reduce its use of purse seine nets in the central and western Pacific in light of overfishing of bigeye tuna.

Members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, which includes 24 nations and the European Union, are meeting this week at the Marriott Ihilani Resort at Ko Olina...

While such a reduction is not on the conference agenda, the United States and Pacific island countries are negotiating an extension of the 1987 Multilateral Treaty, which allows the United States 40 vessels and no limit on fishing days. That treaty expires on 2013.

(read article, Star-Advertiser)

 

Hawaii to have 2 people on marine advisory panel
(Jul 21, 2010 - Star-Advertiser )

Two people from Hawaii are among 11 new members of the Marine Protected Area Federal Advisory Committee.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday the Commerce Department has appointed Waianae fisherman William Aila to the committee to represent rural Hawaii and Native Hawaiians.

The department appointed Hawaii Pacific University assistant professor K. David Hyrenbach to represent the natural science field.

The 30-member committee meets twice a year to advise the federal commerce and interior departments about marine protected areas.

(read article, Star-Advertiser)

 

Group urges use of special hook to avoid hurting dolphins
(Jul 21, 2010 - Star-Advertiser )

An advisory group says fishermen who use longlines to catch ahi, mahimahi and other fish off Hawaii should use a different kind of hook so they don't accidentally severely injure or kill a rare dolphin species.

The False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team says longline fishermen should use a circle hook because dolphins are less likely to get caught on them.

(read article, Star-Advertiser)

 

Group aims to prevent false killer whale deaths
(Jul 13, 2010 - Star-Advertiser )

A group of experts is meeting in Honolulu this week to discuss ways to prevent Hawaii's longline fleet from accidentally snagging a rare dolphin species.

The False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team is made up of fishermen, marine mammal biologists, government officials and environmental activists...

The federal government organized the group in response to data indicating the fishery is snagging a large number of the dolphins.

(read article, Star-Advertiser)

 

Lingle signs the nation's first shark-fin ban
(May 29, 2010 - Star-Bulletin )

Hawaii has become the first state to ban the possession, sale, trade or distribution of shark fins in an attempt to prevent the extinction of the ocean predators.

Gov. Linda Lingle signed yesterday the bill prohibiting shark fins, which are used in pricey Chinese dishes. Exceptions will be made for researchers who have obtained a permit from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The bill passed the state Legislature earlier this year with broad support...

(read article, Star Bulletin)

 

Gill nets must be banned forever
(Apr 26, 2010 - Honolulu Advertiser )

As a fisherman from Kailua, I share a deep respect and affinity for the ocean, borne from a lifetime on the water and ancient traditions of conservation.

I feel that we all have a shared cultural and economic interest in the preservation and restoration of our marine environment, so I was dismayed to hear about the recent killing of a native monk seal by drowning in a gill net last Tuesday off Bellows. That was a criminal act, but the real crime is that gill nets are still legal at all and considered by some an acceptable way to fish...

In Fiji, the chief banned gill nets and the fish came back. It started with strong government leadership and enforcement and following their lead, recognition by the people that nets posed an unacceptable danger to their cultural and economic well-being. Indeed, wherever gill nets have been banned throughout the world, the fish came back.

(read commentary, Honolulu Advertiser)

 

Senator pushing to get vote on shark fin ban
(Apr 19, 2010 - Honolulu Advertiser )

State Sen. Clayton Hee called out supporters for his effort to ban the sale and possession of shark fins in Hawai'i as the deadline nears for the bill to be scheduled for a vote in the Legislature.

The bill would make possessing shark fins a misdemeanor in Hawai'i. It's in conference committee and will be dead this session unless it is scheduled for a vote Thursday.

They denounced shark finning as a cruel, wasteful practice and said sharks are being harvested at a level that will upset the ecological balance of the ocean. Hee, who is Chinese-Hawaiian, said that despite the popularity of shark fin soup, the debate about the bill does not pit Chinese and Hawaiian cultures against each other because shark fin soup is not a Chinese cultural tradition...

(read article, Honolulu Advertiser)

 

Hawaii's record on shark conservation is shameful
(Apr 19, 2010 - Star-Bulletin )

Perhaps your readers are unaware that in 2000, Congress passed the Shark Finning Prohibition Act to "eliminate the wasteful practice of killing sharks only for their fins." In 1991, the catch of approximately 2,289 sharks were reported by Hawaiian longline fishing vessels. By 1998, the number of sharks reported caught in Hawaiian waters was up to over 60,000. Reportedly, 98 percent of those sharks were taken only for their fins, which is only about 1 to 5 percent of their body weight. The rest of their carcass was thrown overboard while the shark was still alive...

(read commentary, Star Bulletin)

 

Shark FINale?
(Mar 08, 2010 - Star-Bulletin )

A state senator wants to ban shark fins in Hawaii, not just for conservation reasons, but because the animal is considered a native Hawaiian deity.

But some ethnic Chinese in Hawaii are upset by the proposal because it would outlaw shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy.

Proponents of the bill, however, say shark populations are in decline and need more protection. As top predators in the ocean, sharks help keep the ocean's ecosystem in balance.

The bill would close loopholes in state and federal shark fishing laws that allow "shark finning" or dumping live sharks with their fins removed back into the ocean to drown, starve to death or be eaten by other fish, supporters say.

(read article, Star Bulletin)

 

U.S. Coast Guard and Navy join forces to wage 'Fight for Fish'
(Mar 04, 2010 - Star-Bulletin )

Since June the Navy has helped the Coast Guard perform its oldest mission -- protection of natural marine resources -- by allowing its enforcement officers to ride along as Pearl Harbor warships cruise the Pacific Ocean...

"Illegal commercial fishing disrupts economic prosperity, which can destabilize many small countries who depend on this industry as an important part of their economy," said Walsh. "History demonstrates that economic instability can lead to larger security threats."

(read article, Star Bulletin)

 

Plan to reduce loss of false killer whales is ordered
(Jan 20, 2010 - Star-Bulletin )

The federal government said yesterday it will form a group to develop ways of preventing the accidental snagging of a rare dolphin species by the Hawaii-based longline fishery.

The fishery is accidentally killing or seriously injuring an average of 7.4 false killer whales each year in waters off Hawaii, the National Marine Fisheries Service said in a Federal Register notice...

Fishermen are expected to join marine mammal biologists, environmental activists and government officials in developing a plan to reduce the number of the dolphins getting caught in fishing gear. The group is due to meet in Honolulu Feb. 17-19...

(read article, Star Bulletin)

 

 

 


* WHITE PAPER* - Marine Reserve Initiatives in Hawaii 1999-2007

Legislative History of Marine Protected Areas, right-to-fish fight (2007)

We are running out of fish, at least wild-caught fish. Such headlines, and the need for "sustainable" fishing, continue to show up in the media. But is "sustainable" fishing even possible? Thirty years ago fisheries managers were taught that "surplus" production could be safely harvested and that all they needed to do was determine what the surplus was. Now we are coming to the realization that surplus production is probably a myth....(HTML)

 

 


Northwestern Hawaiian Islands proclaimed a National Monument! Visit the NWHI Network.

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PFC provides:
  • forums for the fishing community and the Hawaii's Division of Aquatic Resources personnel to exchange views and work together to achieve sustain able fisheries.

  • research papers, reports, and briefings by experts on the status and management needs of Hawaii's fisheries to the Hawai`i State Legislature and Hawaii's congressional delegation.

  • educational tools such as a comprehensive webpage, reference brochure, cdrom, classroom materials, and videos to provide information about our marine resources.

  • volunteers to visit schools and community groups to talk about the need to conserve and responsibly manage Hawaii's marine resources.

 

Project Management:
  • William Aila, a Hawaiian fisherman and co-founder of the Hawai`i Fishermen's Foundation, serves as educator and community spokesman for PFC to malama Hawaii's fisheries by achieving a common ground among managers and users.

  • Ellyn Tong, PFC Outreach Coordinator.

  • Linda Paul, Executive Director and former President of the Hawaii Audubon Society, serves as the project administrator and fisheries lawyer for PFC.

The Hawai`i Fishermen's Foundation was established in 1991 to foster a better working relationship among all ocean users and support sound fisheries management.

The Hawai`i Audubon Society, founded in 1939, strives to foster community values that result in protection and restoration of native ecosystem and conservation of natural resources through education, science, and advocacy in Hawai`i and the Pacific.

side photo by Commander John Bortniak, NOAA Corps (ret.)

 

 

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