Written by Jen Finn
Hawaii fishermen say they are being pushed to the limit by a barrage of proposed federal and state laws that threaten their livelihood.
"It stresses me out. It stresses a lot of fishermen out, because how many other people have to fight to maintain their way of life?" said Makani Christensen, a commercial fisherman on O'ahu who catches goatfish with nets and fly-fishes.
Christensen was one of a few dozen fishermen who crowded a hearing last Thursday in Honolulu to testify against a proposal by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to list three coral species in Hawaii as threatened.
The listings are just one of several NOAA proposals that have fishermen worried. The federal agency may also expand protections for the endangered monk seal around the main Hawaiian islands and take more aggressive actions to help the species recover. NOAA also released rules earlier this month that will enforce a commercial fishing ban in the Pacific marine national monuments.
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NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.
The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.Read more...
Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.
Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.Read more...