Turtle poaching has come to Maui.
Prior evidence was kept hush-hush to catch the killers. The National Marine Fisheries Service was in the loop but did nothing. The Western Regional Pacific Fisheries Management Council dictates policy to NMFS.
WESPAC wants honu delisted sustainably so the Hawaii swordfish longline fleet can catch more swordfish by killing more (nonthreatened) turtles.
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairman William Aila watched with arms folded at a WESPAC gathering as turtle killers confessed to a federal and state crime. As usual, Hawaii corruption defers to money and power.
Meanwhile, The Maui News (Sept. 29) quotes spurious experts on turtle welfare who are vested in this issue, with ties to NMFS and rigorous dependence on grant funding for more study. A public forum should go beyond those who want to control or kill and eat.
The plastrons found were cut with a serrated knife. Anyone denying poaching is irresponsible and political, positioning for further grant funding.
Poaching is not complex, but simple. We have turtle poaching on Maui and nothing is being done except for positioning on grants and facilitating WESPAC's dirty work. A forum should not be balanced between a handful yelling over a vast majority that wants our honu protected. This is Maui, not Oahu and not WESPAC.