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Letters | 7-6-14

July 6, 2014 - 12:05am

Fish collection isn’t the problem

This is in response to the article, “Groups partner to combat aquarium fish collection” by Erin Miller from your June 24 Westside Weekly.

Aquarium fish collection is managed by the Department of Aquatic Resources and is a highly policed fishery, more so than commercial food fisheries, which catches thousands of terminal staged fish daily. There are less than 30 active fish collectors working on the west side of Hawaii. The fishery only catches recruit staged fish and not reproducing terminal phased fish, it’s the only fishery to do so.

Large adult fish have no value in the industry. Only 30 percent of the west side is open to collection, the remaining 70 percent replenishes the 30 percent with spawning distributed by currents. Of that 30 percent, much is not fished because of poor habitat of desired collected species. No fish are killed when collected or transported. Shipping aquarium fish has a 99 percent arrival of live specimens rate. It does not “cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals annually.” It is a very successful fishery of low death rates.

Sportfishing kills more fish daily than the aquarium fishery annually, and those are the large adult fish that should be reproducing.

As far people noticing less fish in the water, many contributors such as roi, an introduced invasive species, fertilizer runoff, habitat destruction and poor fishing practices play a large role in reducing species richness on our reefs.

The University of Hilo does annual fish surveys off the Kona Coast the public should have access to the data.

Understanding both sides of an argument is the only way to conceive an unbiased truth.

I am not a current fish collector nor do I work in the industry.

Erik Swenson


Diver’s assessment questionable

Tina Owens may believe that West Hawaii is in good shape regarding the taking of reef fish but my experience diving as a tourist over the last six years is contrary to that belief.

First, there are far fewer fish on the reef.

Secondly, and I have recent first hand experience, dive operators go along to get along when poaching is observed. They are very wary of reporting such incidents.

Aggression from the collectors is an obvious threat.

Mark Proctor

Burnaby, British Columbia

Contamination from GMOs is here

I seem to find myself on the opposite of every proposal or opinion Richard Ha has published by West Hawaii Today. His farm(s) produce quality fruits and vegetables, but as he is a supporter of genetically modified organisms. “I no intentionally buy no more.”

Now, on our beautiful but already contaminated Hawaii Island, by nature and by man, he is promoting a dangerous form of energy, which has many many opponents and probable victims where it has been utilized on the mainland. We are blessed with much solar and wind energy sourcing right here.

Is he unfamiliar with the deleterious effects of geothermal or the hydrogen bomb? Does he care?

Carolyn Pellett


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