POSSIBLE REGULATIONS FOR CERTAIN MARINE FISH

February 3, 2009, 2:28 PM HST · Updated February 4, 9:33 AM
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(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009)

The state has added a Molokai meeting to a list of public discussions on possible regulations for certain marine fish species. The Department of Land and Natural Resources is considering minimum size rules to protect some species from over harvesting including Parrotfish (uhu), Goatfish (weke), and Jacks (ulua/papio). The Molokai meeting will take place next Tuesday, Feb. 10th from 3 to 5 p.m. at Kulana Oiwi in Kaunakakai.

The schedule of upcoming meetings across the state is as follows:

Kona – February 3 (Tuesday) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Kealakehe High School library, 74-5000 Puohulihuli St., in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.

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Honolulu – February 5 (Thursday) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Kawananakoa Middle School cafeteria, 49 Funchal St., Honolulu

Moloka`i — February 10 (Tuesday) from 3 to 5 p.m. at Kulana Oiwi, Kaunakakai, in the DHHL Conference room. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the Governor’s Moloka`i Community Advisory Council.

Honolulu – February 12 (Thursday) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Waimalu Elementary School cafeteria, 98-825 Moanalua Rd., `Aiea

Leeward O`ahu – February 19 (Thursday) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Wai`anae Public Library meeting room, 85-625 Farrington Hwy., Wai`anae

Meetings have already been held on Maui and Kaua`i in Hilo and Kona and windward O`ahu.

“We are holding these public information meetings to listen to concerns and suggestions from the public regarding fishing and protection of these three species,” said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR Chairperson. “The input we receive from the public will help the Division of Aquatic Resources design rules that will support the ongoing conservation of our marine resources while balancing the needs of recreational, subsistence and commercial fishers.”

DLNR officials say commercial harvesting of uhu has increased, with commercial fishers using specialized and highly effective net- and trap-based fisheries operating in deeper water.

Of particular concern is the role of these fish play in helping to maintain healthy coral reefs. Parrotfish, the largest grazing fishes on Hawai`i’s reefs, help to control seaweed growth and in effect, a healthy coral reef ecosystem.

The state also reports a decline in goatfish abundance.

(Photo Credit: NOAA, Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center)

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