Hawaiian coastal fish

7-foot (2.13-m) long unknown

A study finds that 75% of the species around the main islands are affected. Scientists blame overfishing.

Sharks, jacks, parrot fish and other colorful reef fish are quickly disappearing from coral reefs encircling the Hawaiian Islands, federal scientists reported Tuesday.

The scientists blamed overfishing for the steep decline, which affects three-quarters of the species once commonly found on coral reefs, delighting snorkeling tourists and feeding subsistence fishermen in Hawaii's coastal communities.

Many of these fish, ecologists say, are key to maintaining healthy coral reefs because they keep reefs clean by grazing on algae that can quickly overgrow the stony corals and cause them to collapse.

Alan Friedlander, a federal fisheries ecologist, said that Hawaii still had relatively healthy reefs. "So everything hasn't collapsed yet, " he said. "But we need to protect healthy reefs, because it's so much easier and safer to conserve now than it is to try to rebuild later."

The results of the study were released at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Nearly 3, 000 scientists, managers and conservationists have congregated there to pore over the latest science and wrestle with ways to protect the world's coral reefs, which are in a state of steep decline.

Many prominent scientists think that overfishing represents one of the greatest challenges to maintaining and restoring healthy coral reefs.

Daniel Pauly, director of the University of British Columbia's Fisheries Centre, pointed out Tuesday that international authorities and local governments on Pacific island nations had little understanding of how many fish were being removed from coral reefs by small-scale subsistence fishermen.

For the most part, catch data compiled by American Samoa and other such island nations do not include all the small-boat fishermen who paddle or motor out to catch fish for themselves and their families. Comparing census data of per-person fish consumption and other sources, Pauly and his team of researchers discovered that in some cases the unreported catches were 17 times higher than reported catches. On average, they were at least twice as high.

Reconstructing a clearer picture of historic catches, Dirk Zeller and Jennifer Jacquet at the Fisheries Centre found that domestic catches had declined 54% to 86% since the 1950s.


Fish farming shouldnt be outlawed

2006-11-02 18:00:34 by ikkyu

There's forward progress in farming. one that's being used is large cages in the pelagic ocean rather than the more high density coastal pens. hawaiian moi is being farmed like that as are some salmon off the pacific northwest.
we really have no option but to go fwd and better manage the fish farms. wild populations cannot sustain the current fishing practices or catch quantities.
i just saw a sign in the window of whole foods th' other day. it seems chilean sea bass is off the danger list. how long d'you think before it's over fished again due to it's popularity?


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