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Letters 11-17-2012

Fish regulations

It’s bad science

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is considering new regulations for aquarium fish collecting. The problem with the new rules is they are based on bad science.

Bad science is obtained by taking possibly good science and extending the results to include situations not covered by the original research. In this case, a white list of 40 species from 16 studied species.

In short, the scientists count fish and the fish collectors count dollars. But the dollars per fish species varies widely. The science does not take into account the financial incentives for the fish collectors.

To say that the predatory pressure is the same on an unstudied $50 longfin anthias and a studied 50 cents yellow tang is implausible. To do so creates bad science.

So, where does this bad science come from? The West Hawaii Fisheries Council, where vested interests outnumber the token scientist.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is required by state law to listen to the West Hawaii Fisheries Council, a nice set up for the vested interests.

It gets worse, as the chairman of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, when appointed, had a tropical fish collecting permit. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house.

These reefs are in our stewardship. Please consider sending your testimony to the Department of Land and Natural Resources. This can be as simple as an email to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Subject: Aquarium fish collecting testimony, saying clearly up front “support” or “oppose.” Please include your contact info. Send to

Robert Flatt

Captain Cook

Regional park

It’s not affordable

I have to comment on the Nov. 16 article stating “Kealakehe Regional Park could cost more than $85 million…”

I hope the taxpayers realize the primary motivation for a project like this is to once again line the pockets of the politically connected.

Any benefit to the public is merely secondary or coincidental at best.

Like this is a reasonable cost, $85 million. Of course the county doesn’t have this sort of money. So guess what, we have to borrow it.

Thank God I’m not in elected office or a decision-making county official. I would have a hard time with my conscience supporting something like this.

John Totten