Longliners face criticism

Submitted by whtadmin on May 2, 2011

BY ERIN MILLER | WEST HAWAII TODAY

Longline fishermen are Hawaii’s small boat commercial fishermen’s number one concern, followed by criticisms of the state’s bottomfishing policies.

Small boat fishermen also appear to be underreporting the numbers of commercial fisherman, classifying themselves as recreational fishermen, even when they sell fish.

That’s according to a report released last month by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.

“The most consistently negative comments received from commercial fishermen were with respect to the Hawaii longline fleet,” the report, authored by Justin Hospital, Skaidra Scholey Bruce and Minling Pan, said. “The general consensus among small boat fishers is that longline boats are seen as competition, in terms of catch and marketing, and many feel that they are extracting a disproportionate amount of fishery resources. Longliners are generally seen as the ‘bad guys,’ underregulated, and favored over the small boat fishermen by regulatory agencies and the auction.”

A number of respondents suggested Hawaii end longline fishing entirely.

The full report may be downloaded from the NOAA website at atlas.nmfs.hawaii.edu/perl/newpubs.pl.

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