Why is it that there are insufficient funds for school buses to transport our children to school, but there are ample funds available to needlessly count fish in our ocean resources?
I am referring to bottom-fish restricted areas (BRFAs) and the past, current and future expenditure of resources for the next 10 years to capture data on fish count and movement within the BFRAs when there is no scientific need for the data.
The Scientific and Statistical Committee, an advisory body to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, has determined that the Deep 7 stock is healthy. BFRAs have not been factored into the stock assessment that contributes to the determination of the annual catch limit and there is no evidence to support the notion that BFRAs are reducing the Deep 7 mortality rate. The healthy condition of the Deep 7 stock, which includes ehu and onaga, negates the need for the BFRAs. Retention of the BFRAs is wasteful and impacts negatively on proper management of the Deep 7 fishery.
Michael "Mike" Trotto
Vice Commodore / Treasurer
Ma'alaea Boat & Fishing Club