Letters 12-17-13

Fisheries rules good but also flawed

The new West Hawaii fisheries rules package is a step in the right direction but still deeply flawed.

The rules prohibit the use of scuba for spearfishing because scuba is too productive for fish hunting, but allow the use of scuba for aquarium fish collecting. Of course from the point of view of the reef it doesn’t matter if the fish are hunted or collected, either way the fish are removed from the reef. How is this inconsistency in favor of aquarium fish collecting protecting public resources?

Such inconsistent rule-making reeks of old-fashioned Hawaii backroom political deals. That the chairman of the Department of Land and Natural Resources had an aquarium fish collecting permit doesn’t help with the sniff test. The DNLR has shown itself incapable of making unbiased and consistent rules in this matter.

It is time for the state Legislature to act and prohibit the use of scuba for harvesting any animals — dead or alive — from the ocean. With the usual exception for scientific research this could be a very simple law to write.

And the governor needs to replace the chairman of the DNLR.

Robert Flatt

Captain Cook

Kudos for signing Bill 113 into law

Kudos to our mayor, Billy Kenoi, for his recent signing of Bill 113 restricting further genetically modified organism development on the Big Island and requiring strict transparency and accountability for the existing growers of GMO crops into law.

I couldn’t have been prouder of him as I read his statement of vision for the future of sustainable agriculture here and was very encouraged by his thorough understanding of the big picture in the GMO debate and what is really at stake for the people of Hawaii and, of course, the aina.

Thank you, Mayor Kenoi.

Linda Raquinio