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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National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.