Update on Hawaii commercial collection of fish.

BRS

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@EMeyer, there's a lot more to it than that. The areas you speak of that you can spear anything have very limited life in comparison to the protected areas on each of the islands. Those people spearing everything absolutely have a factor in the ecosystem there as well, see below article. I cant tell you how many times I have been disgusted when I get out of the water and find discarded fish at the showers, because the fish they gathered were too small...


You have to go to Hanauma or any of the reserves like that to see large adult fish. It's articles like the guy collecting hundreds of fish for the fish trade on one swoop that are going to make the legal changes not happen. The thing is that guy got caught, how many times has he done this before? How many other people are doing this and not caught?

A lot of the locals would tell me about certain bays where you could stand at the waters edge and see huge pools of yellow as schools of yellow tang swam across the rocks. I have seen this once and it is absolutely an awe inspiring sight, that is a rare instance now.

Unless you live in Hawaii, or understand how that land was taken you wont understand why the people of Hawaii fight so much for their natural resources. Then add that anyone in a government role wont want anything to happen to their main source of income, like I mentioned above, tourism. Those fish being in the water are a major factor in what drive people to come to the islands.

The only way I can see the fish trade becoming something in Hawaii, is if they somehow manage to get a fishery started. The above factors will make it hard to pass, as a lot of the people who end up moving their are more aligned with animal rights views. Outside of that, I agree with what @tautog83 mentioned. There are company's that are actively breeding species for the fish trade that are a more viable option.
I took a trip to the Big Island in 2006. I did a lot of snorkelling on the Kona side, beach 69 to be exact. I could walk in the surf and see schools of aquarium sized convict tangs, various other large tangs, assorted butterflys, triggers.

I didn't see one yellow tang or moorish idol and I checked out both sides of that beach. I assumed it was from collecting.

We went south past Kona to the Historical Park near Two Step, you could see yellow tangs and moorish idols from the parking lot. Too bad I was coming down with a stomach virus, I never got to swim with them.
 
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shred5

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Seriously...? Hawaii restricts this because the fish populations will be absolutely decimated because of collecting like the article below. You open it up and the schools of fish that are already depleted there will be even less. Hawaii's main source of income is tourism, not putting a Tang in your tank...



Really well several studies say opposite when it comes to tangs?

Anyone have a link to the study that was two years ago when all this started?

I know the Kole and Achilies tangs were up. A few wrasses were down.


1606153137021.png
 
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vetteguy53081

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Really well several studies say opposite when it comes to tangs?

Anyone have a link to the study that was two years ago when all this started?


1606153137021.png
I noticed this was as of year 2010.
 

shred5

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I noticed this was as of year 2010.


I think that was when all these bans started to get voted on. This has been going on for a bit.

There was a study a couple of years ago that showed them still up..



What people do not get is we have little impact on these fisheries. Loss of habitat is the biggest issue.
Then there is fishing and eating of fish. Scuba does allot of damage too.

With out collecting of fish this hobby is pretty much over for most people. I saw a few days ago it was something like 80 percent of the fish are still wild caught. Seemed high to me. Most of the fish in this hobby can not be captive bread in large numbers period. Tangs especially. Those who think we should not collect should not even be in the hobby period. Very few have 100 percent captive bred. What most also do not get is the difference between captive bred and captive raised either or the mislabeling of them..


Breeding of saltwater fish is not like freshwater fish in most cases. Most have a large planktonic stage which we can not reproduce in captivity. Their food is so small and hard to produce. Allot of saltwater fish do not spawn on a medium either. some tangs only spawn in large groups.


What we need is ways to manage the collection and leave things we should be leaving. Certain things should not be collected and certain things need to be managed.

Also the fish have short lives in the ocean and a habitat only supports so much fish. By collecting a fish another fish will just fill the gap and give it a chance of survival.
 
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Really well several studies say opposite when it comes to tangs?

Anyone have a link to the study that was two years ago when all this started?

I know the Kole and Achilies tangs were up. A few wrasses were down.


1606153137021.png
“Fisheries management“ and Their magic bullet cures. Look at the graphic and notice that the population levels just keep bumping along (up and down) after the management area was established by government edict. I’m sure restricting fishing was deemed a huge success based upon the same data. “It will take more time to see real improvements?” :)

What would fish and wildlife do if there were no people to measure their populations? I notice that humanity almost always listed as the #1 problem In threads like this ( for different reasons reflecting diff opinions). Does anyone else worry that the human solution looks and sounds like “The Final Solution.?”
Please-Just kicking the Thought tires, not trying to spread evil.
 

shred5

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@shred5 that graph works in favor of Fishing Restricted Areas (FRA), Open is still under what it was in 1999


“The most powerful point in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement just filed in late 2019 is that the Yellow Tang, which accounts for 97% of catch in West Hawai’i, has increased 100% in the open areas, 165% in closed areas, and 73% in marine life conservation districts since the 1999 baseline studies were conducted. The comprehensive fishery management plan in place is clearly working. The environmental review process clearly demonstrates the unique renewable nature of this fishery. We strongly feel that this fishery has always been a positive example of resource management for the State of Hawai’i and the reasons leading up to the temporary pause were never based on logic or sound reasoning.
 

KrisReef

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There you go! Their own results - copied from @shred5 above:
Populations “increased
100% in the open areas,
165% in closed areas, and
73% in marine life conservation districts since the 1999”

Open areas (presumably open to fishing) populations went up 100% Over the same time, what happened to the populations in the Marine Life conservation areas? Well those areas (presumably under conservation restrictions) improved by only 79%? which is less than the population improvement reported over the same time period in the open area!

“Closed” areas also improved more than both the “open” or “conservation districts”. Why does management get credit for improved populations when openly fished areas had more improvement then the conservation districts did?

Please don’t say we need more data. Yes, limited fishing means fewer fish are caught but increasing populations reported as a percentage of a pre-management populations really only supports the notion that fish populations increased in all cases independently from the established management areas.

That may be poorly explained, so let me ask this-
Since all populations went up, wouldn’t good management allow increases in catch (in the open areas) for all fisheries consumers?

Why not?
 

shred5

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It was all political Ret and Bruce Carlson all did some studies on it I believe.

I am not saying we do not need management I am saying a outright ban was not necessary.

Take for example clownfish because these are easier to explain. There are only so many Anemones in a certain area and they can only hold so many clownfish. What happens to the others? They do not just swim around like they do in our aquarium, they die or get eaten in the wild. If you remove a few it gives others a chance to live.

A reef can only support so many fish period. There is only so much food and so much space. Saltwater fish are extremely territorial. They fight over space and kill each other. Removing a few gives a few others a chance to live.

It is possible to remove certain fish and never dent the population.


By the way here are some other info on it by someone I trust.

Also @Dana Riddle might be able to way in. I believe he was selected for a board on this in Hawahii.


 
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ReeferWarrant

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@shred5 you make a good point on that, if you go into the reef the boundaries are literally a desert. So life typically only inhabits those locations, so real estate is at a premium. I didnt realize, but this is mainly targeted at the big island. If you go to Oahu, it is extremely rare to see Yellow Tang. The only places I see them are in those Restricted/Marine Preserve's and even at that they stay way out of the areas that tourists dive in. My wife and I have to swim out about 1/4-1/2 mile to see them.
 

shred5

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@shred5 you make a good point on that, if you go into the reef the boundaries are literally a desert. So life typically only inhabits those locations, so real estate is at a premium. I didnt realize, but this is mainly targeted at the big island. If you go to Oahu, it is extremely rare to see Yellow Tang. The only places I see them are in those Restricted/Marine Preserve's and even at that they stay way out of the areas that tourists dive in. My wife and I have to swim out about 1/4-1/2 mile to see them.


I am not against regulation at all and collecting in certain areas should not be done for certain fish.

Fish populations actually have more to do with environmental factors, Like hurricanes. They can totally crush a area of life, I have seen it. This is usually temporary though because they comeback, it is a giant fragging of corals. Acropora palmata main way of spreading is through fragmentation, it is a poor spawner. This is why it is hard for their populations to rebound in the Caribbean after bleaching events and it needs help by replanting. It is a fast growing coral.

The sad part is pollution is causing the huge cyno and dino blooms in the ocean and are crushing areas of the ocean.

I think the rise in pollution is responsible for a tang population increase in some areas. More algae so more available food.


I just try not to follow the hype, I try to see both sides and think outside the box. Same with politics and the sad part is people let emotion take over. I have been a avid scuba diver and in the reef hobby for over 30 years. I have seen the wild and seen what happens in the hobby. I care about the ocean and the hobby and balance is the key. They give economic value to the reef which adds value and a reason to protect them. Scuba and the Reef hobby also add awareness and gives people a reason to protect them because of their love for it. If not for the reef hobby and scuba it is just a bunch of stuff under the ocean few care about or understand.
 
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EMeyer

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It is possible to remove certain fish and never dent the population.
This (excess production) is such an important concept for discussions of resource management. Understanding this is a prerequisite for sensible discussions of how to manage the stock.

The tiny number of fish harvested for aquariums (which is far less than recreational and commercial fishing kills every year) surely falls well within this excess production.

The burden of proof is on anti-aquarium side to prove that somehow the tiny number of fish taken for aquariums are doing any harm at all, let alone that they are somehow doing more harm than the far greater number of fish killed by fishermen.
 

SolisFirefish

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I go to the island of Maui very often (1 time a year) and the corals at Ahihi near Kihei and Lahaina are very colourful and there are lots of fish, but I do agree with you. I went to the beach near Kihei literally called "Beach 3". There are barely any fish and really the only fish there are the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a.

 

SMSREEF

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I don’t see the problem with closing the west coast down. it was an amazingly beautiful experience diving with all the gorgeous tangs.

If you want to collect for the aquarium trade, go to a different coast.

At least there will be a good place for the tangs and other fish to increase their numbers and they will hopefully migrate to the other coasts where you can collect.
 
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shred5

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This (excess production) is such an important concept for discussions of resource management. Understanding this is a prerequisite for sensible discussions of how to manage the stock.

The tiny number of fish harvested for aquariums (which is far less than recreational and commercial fishing kills every year) surely falls well within this excess production.

The burden of proof is on anti-aquarium side to prove that somehow the tiny number of fish taken for aquariums are doing any harm at all, let alone that they are somehow doing more harm than the far greater number of fish killed by fishermen.


The thing is the fisherman who rely on fishing for their lively hood know this and are not the problem. They know if they overharvest their is no income next year. It is the sport fisherman, the poacher and the corporation that only cares about the bottom line. There is nothing wrong with sport fisherman either they actually provide economic value too but we know which one it is.
 

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@SolisFirefish, yeah thats typical for the beaches. Honolua Bay is my favorite spot on Maui for diving, our family has property in Kula and it is absolutely my favorite island.

Big Island wont pass any laws, just being honest with you all. All of the California transplants are pretty adamant about environmental/animal rights. Maui had a problem with the Sugar Cane fields near the airport, there were complaints about the crop burning after the harvest. So they put a stop to that and apparently the crop burning also kept the rats at bay and now there's rodent problems in those areas... I would say Big Islands political views are more extreme in those areas as well.
 

shred5

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I don’t see the problem with closing the west coast down. it was an amazingly beautiful experience diving with all the gorgeous tangs.

If you want to collect for the aquarium trade, go to a different coast.

At least there will be a good place for the tangs and other fish to increase their numbers and they will hopefully migrate to the other coasts where you can collect.


That is a good point, closing certain areas for refuge and stuff can spill over and can work. No reason to have to be able to collect full areas.

I think the rest of Hawahii is shut down now or shutting down. No new colleting permits were supposed to be handed out. So I am not sure they can. After the court loss not much has been said and I stopped following it much. That is why I was trying to get Dana in here since he probably knows more about it.
 

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@shred5 yeah I'd say the tourists and military folk like me are part of the guilty party for errantly killing off some of the reef inhabitants. I can't tell you how many times I've been flagged by someones spear gun who has no experience with them.... I typically find 4 or 5 cardinal fish at the washing showers that people discarded because they are too small.. or they shoot something thats not edible like a trumpetfish... My wife almost went off on a guy who had a piece of rebar just to smash all the Urchins he saw on his way to the reef...
 

SMSREEF

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That is a good point, closing certain areas for refuge and stuff can spill over and can work. No reason to have to be able to collect full areas.

I think the rest of Hawahii is shut down now or shutting down. No new colleting permits were supposed to be handed out. So I am not sure they can. After the court loss not much has been said and I stopped following it much. That is why I was trying to get Dana in here since he probably knows more about it.
Yes, It would be good to get some local Hawaiian input, because I thought it was just the West Kona Coast thats protected.
 
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