Laynet public Hearings tonight

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landkumu
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Laynet public Hearings tonight

Post by landkumu » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:48 am

For all of you who are passionate about fishing and perpetuating our marine life stocks so that we will all have something to enjoy in the future and pass down to the next generation, there is another public hearing tonight at 6:00 pm. It is to be held at McKinley High School at around 6:00 pm. The agenda says they will be addressing the proposed amendments once again in regards to laynets. Why we are debating this topic so much I have no idea. Anyway, I stumbled across the meeting announcement on the DLNR website when I was trying to check on the status of the proposed amendment status. I highly encourage everyone to attend. I know it seems like they just keep talking about it but if no fight is put up and the laynets continue, then there will be no fish and it will be a waste of time to go fishing. I attended the last meeting at Kalani High School and the majority of the \"locals\" who were there were protesting the amendments. I frequently hear other wise fisherman discussing how the laynets have decimated our fish stocks but I never saw too many at the meeting last time. These are the public hearings at which public sentiment will be recorded and taken in to account. They say those who will lose the most will show up to protest. Well in the short term all the laynetters may feel like they \"lose\" if the amendments are enforced permanently. Ultimately however, if the laynets continue to catch entire schools of our favorite fish like Papio, O'io and other reef dwellers, then we all lose! Might as well toss out your treasured fishing gear. We all know it is true and most of us have seen our prime \"spots\" go from productive and exciting to dead and discouraging. We all wish fishing was like the old days when had plenty... we can still make a difference. We have to fight get rid of the laynets \"permanently\"!
Catch and release some, take only what you need, be safe and stop the laynet reef rapers.

Brian F.
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Post by Brian F. » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:59 am

Yes, I would encourage everyone to attend. But I would also caution that people should know the whole story behind ?Why we are debating this topic so much??. You should know couple things:

1. This is not meant to endorse use of laynets. As an ulua fisherman, I have my own opinions. We all know there is complete failure in how DLNR is managing much of the resource and the area of laynets is a big one.

2. What is at issue here is HOW DLNR is going about making these proposed rule changes. What no one sees is that their own process is highly questionable. For example:

3. These proposed rule changes will affect each island differently ? each island will have different closed areas (some none) and different regulations. Why? Aren?t people throughout the State equal? The rationale that some communities ?have their act together? has been the response ? people elsewhere don?t. And although they will not state so, there is considerable preference to Hawaiian communities in some areas but not others. Are Hawaiians on other islands not the same?

4. Consider this: The main reason given is that lay nets are indiscriminate in what they take and endangers turtles and monk seals. Under the proposed rules, all islands will have regulations that require max soak time of 4 hours for a max. 125 ft. net and a visual check every ? hour. Except Molokai ? special rule. On Molokai you would be able to leave your net that is 6 times longer for 12 hours and check it twice. Whaaaa?! Molokai has monk seals. Can the monk seals on Molokai hold their breath 2-3 times as long as the ones elsewhere or do they wear scuba tanks?

5. There is also a provision being proposed that will ?create a process by which the BLNR (Land Board) can expedite modifications to areas closed to lay net fishing?. In other words, as written ?modification of the areas? means to me they can expand them and change them to affect things other than nets, including restricting other types of fishing gear, as they see fit ?because of the critical need for protection of coral reef and protected resources?. We can go to the hearings and oppose any changes but it's usually a done deal - \"thank you very much for your comment\". Looks like another way to skirt around the public process and make more MPAs.

In the end, these rule changes don?t make sense and don?t ultimately help the resource get better. Instead of implementing the Gillnet Task Force recommendations made 4 years ago and perhaps saving a seal from entanglement, they did nothing because environmentalists and other ocean users wanted nothing short of a ban. The really bad thing about these proposals is that they also make it easier for DLNR to just ram stuff through that could ultimately keep you from fishing. By jumping on the \"rah rah\" wagon for these changes, fishermen are being herded like a school of Halalu headed for the dinner plate.
Aloha,
Brian F.

"No House, No Fish"
"Hypocrisy is not a fault these days - it is a lifestyle"
http://fishtoday.org (the views expressed above are my own and do not specifically represent that of PIFG)

landkumu
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laynets

Post by landkumu » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:58 am

Brian F. made some good points regarding the DNLR's inability to properly manage our resources as well as the inequality of the proposed amendments. There definitely needs to be more action taken in order to manage our resources because they are on a steady decline. I'm sure everyone has seen the historical records of the steady and highly significant decline in various reef fish harvested over the past several decades. They tell a grim tale indeed and it is not because less fishing is being done.

It is true that the amendments are not equal and fair for all. Laynets should be banned completely across the state. There is no justifiable need for their use. Marine mammals are an important reason to outlaw the nets and I do care. However, as a fisherman my concern stems even more from the rapidly depleting fish stocks. I truly do no agree with the partial ban proposed but I do feel at the very least, that it is a step in the right direction.

The adverse impact of laynets is a pretty blatant concept. Many of us can attest to witnessing laynetters pulling in catches with 200 to 300 pieces. Gillnet task force? Ensuring the \"responsible\" use of laynets? Open and closed seasons for spawning fish? Allowing the use of laynets in any form does not disallow and cannot prevent excessive catches. People argue that \"a few bad guys give other laynetters a bad name\". Any way you slice it, lay nets do the following:
1. Catch everything in their path
2. Remove marine life (fish) much faster than they can reproduce, even if only cathching \"targetted\" species.
3. Cannot avoid killing of \"off season/spawing\" species
4. Do not allow for live or undamaged release of bicatch.

Here is a simple species specific example just to make a point. Let's use O'io since it is a popular inshore game and food fish. We all know O'io naturally come in to feed on flats in search of crustaceans and small fish. Let's say bruddah Kimo and friends (symbolic of all of us) have been going to their favorite spot to \"throw pole\" for O'io for years. An area school of 45 O'io enter the channel en route to feed on the reef. Some greedy buggahs laid their nets across the channel to make a few bucks on the side. The whole school of 5 to 10 year old, mature reproducing adults all get stuck in the nets. Suddenly, bruddah Kimo and friends (ie, all of us) return to their favorite spot repeatedly to find nothing left.

It boils down to basic math. Take more fish faster than they can mature and reproduce and you inevitably end up with nothing. In the very realistic example above, how is the stock going to replenish itself? In the blink of an eye the entire population of O'io was completely removed. Fish have to reach maturity to reproduce. Everything big enough to reproduce was caught in the \"legal sized laynet\". How many years would it take for a few tiny ones left behind to mature and reproduce if they even survive long enough to do so? Seems bleak to me. Everyone talks about the massive schools of Mullet, O'io, Papio, Moi etc... of the old days. Where do you think they all went? Hook and line? Spearfishing? Highly doubtful...

I am just being realistic. We all know and we've all seen and heard about this for years. Yes, there are lots of politics, mismanagement and inequalities that complicate this issue but laynets are clearly the major culprit. \"Taking\" from the ocean in this way is just not feasible in the long run and needs to stop now if we want to have a sustainable resource to enjoy. Keep laying nets and raping the reefs and the regulatory groups will really have a \"justified\" reason to implement MPA's all over the state.
Catch and release some, take only what you need, be safe and stop the laynet reef rapers.

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Post by fisherman » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:44 am

Amen brother!

I could not have said it any better.

I will say it again. Ban all nets and traps two miles from any point of land and ban commercial sales on any reef fish. Try this theory and you will find results.

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Post by Brian F. » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:03 pm

Yes, I have seen the commercial landing records and have inquired with DAR about them. They tell me all of those charts are simply derived from commercial fishermen reporting what they are bringing to market. They are not stock assessments which take into account the different factors affecting why there are changes and declines, including the catch rate (how many times you went and what you caught during that time?), who went fishing (sorry, but not everybody has the same skill level) and did they retire or leave the business at some time?, where did they go?, what regulation changes were implemented and when (which meant you could not take the same amount or sizes and therefore reported less), etc. That being the case, these charts are unreliable and appear to present information in a jaded view, making them unsuitable as a management tool to solely rely upon.

I agree that the misuse of laynets is obvious but, from the standpoint of the groups that want no fishing in Hawaii, there will be ?obvious? arguments for just about any form of fishing once laynetters are gone. If a partial ban on nets and these proposed net regulation changes are a step in the right direction and people of the State have to be treated with inequity to do it, then I would expect some legal action to be taken by organizations like the ACLU.

As a fisherman, I am very concerned about the proposal to add the ability of the department to administratively ?modify? areas closed to netting. If nets are already banned in these areas, isn?t the problem solved? What other ?modifications? are necessary? Further access and gear restrictions for other types of fishing?

I agree that something needs to be done. But it needs to be done without, as pointed out, all the politics and sneaky back door tactics. Buying into this because the net thing seems like a slam dunk while not fully understanding all of the parts of it and what they can entail will make people feel a little silly when they realize too late that it affects more than just lay netters.
Aloha,
Brian F.

"No House, No Fish"
"Hypocrisy is not a fault these days - it is a lifestyle"
http://fishtoday.org (the views expressed above are my own and do not specifically represent that of PIFG)

landkumu
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laynets

Post by landkumu » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:41 am

There may be variables that alter of the validity and accuracy of the commercial catch reports. However, I would have to infer that despite being somewhat unreliable as a highly accurate fish stock census, the trend exhibited remains fairly \"tell-tale\". As our local population increases immensely so does the demand for various goods, including seafood and namely fish. If I compare what is depicted on those charts with what I've seen out on the reefs and what the old timers tell me, I have to at the very least, acknowledge the alarming correlation

Many of us are concerned about what could happen to our other fishing rights if the laynets outlawed. I sincerely empathize with that and it deeply perturbs me to think of those possibilities. I love fishing and always have for as long as I can remember. I was always taught to respect all marine life and to release and return what I will not use immediately. When I am fishing I find my inner peace regardless of what else is going in the rest of this rat race. It can also be time to bond with friends and family and to admire and appreciate the mana of this place in which we live. Ultimately, I am just presenting my perspective here as a fisherman and someone who deeply respects the ocean. To lose my right to fish would be devastating. However, I feel that if the laynetters continue to exploit our resources our fishing (catching) rights will be stripped of us forever anyway.

You may always be able to throw your line out or jump in the water with your mask and fins but all for nothing if there are no fish. What good will it be to be allowed to fish anywhere we like if there is nothing to catch??? This is why I feel this step in the right direction is worth the potential risk. There are various perspectives on this issue of course. If partially eliminating laynets according to the current amendments has a greatly restorative and noticeable result, a total ban could finally be implemented (which it should be in equity from the start!!!). This has been tested and proven in places like Florida and Fiji with impressive outcomes. MPA's in the main Hawaiian islands may become obsolete. We never have any guarantees about anything but if we follow suit with a successful result then we all win. The DLNR may finally demonstrate some sort of positive impact and the rest of us will be able to enjoy fishing even more.

The path taken thus far has lead us to failure and ecological disaster. The amendments are an opportunity may come with some risk but the alternative is far more detrimental and may be irreversible.
Catch and release some, take only what you need, be safe and stop the laynet reef rapers.

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