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Letters 11-21-2012

Fish collecting

Not sustainable

In “Public gets chance to chime in on fish collecting rules,” you note that scuba spearfishing is already banned in Australia.

Another difference between Kona and Australia is that Australia takes the aquarium trade threat seriously. Though the Great Barrier Reef is massive, tropical fish collectors are allowed a tiny fraction of its fish.

Note that Hawaii is reversed: massive aquarium take, several times higher than Australia’s, is allowed from comparatively tiny reefs.

Before state resource manager Bill Walsh became the aquarium trade’s best friend, he said that if Hawaii were managed like Australia, just one collector would be allowed, statewide.

Instead of promoting Australian-type management, Walsh, the fish collectors and the West Hawaii Fisheries Council are pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes with bogus rules they claim as “sustainable,” but those rules allow a take far beyond reasonable, dwarfing Australia’s take.

If applied to 2011 reports, the rules would reduce take by 4,000 fish, about 1 percent of the 349,000 the trade reported taking. Total revenue would come down $13,000 or .009 of reported sales.

The wool gets thicker, because the rules are 100 percent unenforceable, with officers unable to check containers without probable cause. The result: unlimited species and fish leaving Hawaii reefs for mainland aquariums.

Rene Umberger

Kihei, Maui


Bound for Chile?

If the Thirty Meter Telescope was proposed for any other state, it would probably be making history already.

But this is Hawaii. The Board of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Land and Natural Resources and Land Use Commission, etc., permit dominion rule will no doubt strangle the baby in its cradle and the billion dollar scientific landmark and its thousands of jobs will wind up in Chile.

Ken Obenski