Category Archives: Western Pacific

Foreign fishermen confined to boats catch Hawaiian seafood

Hawaii’s high-quality seafood is sold with the promise that it’s caught by local, hard-working fishermen. But the people who haul in the prized catch are almost all undocumented foreign workers, confined to American boats for years at a time without basic rights or protections. About 700 men from impoverished Southeast Asian and Pacific Island nations make up the bulk of the workforce in this unique U.S. fishing fleet. A federal loophole allows them to take the dangerous jobs without proper work permits, just as long as they don’t set foot on shore. Americans buying Hawaiian seafood are almost certainly eating fish caught by one of these workers. A six-month Associated Press investigation found fishing crews living in squalor on some boats, forced to use buckets instead of toilets and suffering running sores from bed bugs. There have been instances of human trafficking, active tuberculosis and low food supplies. (I’m having a very hard time wrapping my head around this.) Read the story here 15:50

Pacific neighbours failed on Friday to strike a deal to protect tuna

Pacific island states and countries failed on Friday to strike a deal to protect shrinking supplies of tuna and adopt cutbacks following a regional conference, officials said, sparking condemnation from conservationists. The 10 participants “could not reach an agreement” on proposed regulation after five days of talks at the Northern Committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) annual conference, Japan’s Fisheries Agency said in a statement. The partipants, which include Japan, China, the United States, Fiji, Vanuatu, Canada, South Korea, the Philippines, the Cook islands and Taiwan, agreed to the conference after sharp declines in bluefin tuna brood stock last year. Read the rest here 18:55

WWF calls for suspension of commercial tuna fishing

pacific bluefin tunaWWF is calling for the immediate suspension of commercial fishing of the Pacific bluefin tuna stock which it says is teetering on the edge of collapse due to what it calls the repeated inaction of responsible bodies. It said that the call follows another failure to agree on an urgently needed recovery plan to save bluefin tuna by Members of the Northern Committee (NC) of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). Dr Aiko Yamauchi, the leader of the Oceans and Seafood Group, WWF Japan said: “This is the only way to end overfishing, and to provide hope for a future recovery of the stock. Read the rest here 11:33

Obama brings fresh attention to an expanded marine sanctuary (and the fishermen it hurts)

obama-visits-midway-atoll-brings-fresh-attention-to-climate-change-youtube-ap-screencap_850877Yesterday, while visiting Hawaii’s Midway Atoll, President Obama officially made the size of a marine monument twice the size of Texas while highlighting his Climate Change commitment. The monument’s new size has angered local fishermen and Native Hawaiians. The monument, created by President George W. Bush in 2006, puts more land and waters off limits to local fishermen and recreation, and Obama’s critics are calling his actions heavy-handed. The monument is now the largest protected marine Environment in the world or roughly 3.5 times the size of California. A native of Hawaii, Obama used his executive power to expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, making large swaths of fertile fishing grounds off-limits to fishermen. That means they now have to travel at least four times further out to sea to catch fish like tuna, a costly adventure that actually emits more greenhouse gas emissions because of the increased travel time. Hawaiians not only consume three times more fish than landlocked Americans but fishing is a major source of local commerce. Read the rest here 15:03

Papahanaumokuakea Expansion Is Counterproductive for Hawaii’s Sustainable Fisheries – Shane Yoshimoto

Hawaii is the most secluded island chain in the world. The ocean and the resources that come out of it are invaluable to the state. Eating and catching fish is a way of life and deeply rooted into the culture. Hawaii consumes nearly three times more seafood annually compared to the rest of the mainland. The last thing we want to do is completely wipe out our oceans and deny future generations the ability to cherish locally caught, fresh fish.,, While the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument may have sounded like a good idea, it is not the right answer for the state of Hawaii, its fishery, and the rest of the United States. The monument expansion proposal lacked transparency and the claims made to justify its protection are not backed by science. Read the article here 09:29

Florida and Hawaii brace as hurricane season hastens

Florida braces for life-threatening floods and fierce winds as Hawaii’s Big Island stares down the barrel of an encroaching hurricane. Forecasters issued a tropical storm warning on Wednesday for the Florida Gulf Coast. National Hurricane Center: ”Persons located within these areas should be prepared to take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water.” Florida Governor Rick Scott: Flooding, storm surge, fierce winds and tornadoes were all threats to the region. Could make landfall on Florida’s north-central Gulf Coast on Thursday. Resident on Hawaii’s Big Island warned of an encroaching hurricane expected to bring strong winds and heavy rains. National Weather Service (NWS): Hurricane Madeline [CAT 1] swirling about 235 miles (380 km), forecast to “pass dangerously close” on Wednesday. County of Hawaii: “Preparations to protect life and property should be completed by nightfall today.” Read the latest here 15:27

Hawaii fishermen upset at Hawaii monument expansion

No-Fishing-e1449493453695President Barack Obama is to travel to Hawaii this week to mark the new designation of the expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marina National Monument which he signed despite strong opposition from the Hawaii fishing industry. President Obama who was born in Hawaii is expected to cite the need to protect public lands and waters from climate change. The Western Pacific fishery Management Council of which American Samoa is a member voiced disappointment with Obama’s decision, saying it “serves a political legacy” rather than a conservation benefit. Council member from American Samoa Taulapapa Willie Sword told KHJ News in a recent interview the territory should be concerned with the Hawaii monument expansion because “we could be next.” There was also opposition from the fishing industry in Hawaii. Sean Martin, the president of the Hawaii Longline Association, said his organization was disappointed Obama closed an area nearly the size of Alaska without a public process. “This action will forever prohibit American fishermen from accessing those American waters. Quite a legacy indeed,” he said in an email to The Associated Press. The Pew Charitable Trusts helped lead the push to expand the monument. Read the rest here 11:39

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission discusses fishing limit of Pacific bluefin tuna

20160829KW___0021500010.PH.-.-.N.CI0004An international fisheries commission began discussing details of fishing restrictions for bluefin tuna in the northern Pacific at a meeting in southwestern Japan on Monday amid concerns about overfishing. At a subcommittee meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission held through Friday in the city of Fukuoka, participants are discussing the possibility of invoking a catch limit based on Japan’s proposal. The panel is discussing specific control measures with an eye to reaching a formal agreement within this year. Meanwhile, nongovernmental organizations Greenpeace and the Pew Charitable Trusts have issued a statement requesting the WCPFC to immediately implement a 2-year moratorium on all commercial fishing for Pacific bluefin tuna. Read the rest here 15:10

Hawaii Commercial Fishermen, Seafood Consumers Hit Again as President, Pew’s Ocean Legacy Closes Additional 442,778 Square Miles of Fishing Grounds in the U.S. Pacific Islands

“We do not believe the expansion is based on  the best available scientific information,” said Kitty Simonds, Council executive director. “It serves a political legacy rather than any conservation benefits to pelagic species such as tunas, billfish, sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals. The campaign to expand the monument was organized by a multibillion dollar, agenda-driven environmental organization that has preyed upon the public’s lack of understanding of ocean resource management issues and utilized influential native Hawaiians and several high-level politicians to lead this initiative. Our government has chosen to follow the Pew’s Ocean Legacy.” Read the press release here 21:34

Marine Monument excerpts from Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 8/26/2016

josh-earnest-620x43611:52 A.M. EDT MR. EARNEST:  Morning, everybody.  Happy Friday.  Before we get started I’ll just do a — one piece of news you may have seen already.  As part of the President’s commitment to protect the natural beauty of the United States, we announced today that President Obama is building on this leadership by taking an historic step in creating the world’s largest marine protected area just off the coast of Hawaii. The designation will more than quadruple the size of the existing marine monument, permanently protecting pristine coral reefs, deep-sea marine habitats, and other important ecological features and resources in the waters of the northwest Hawaiian Islands.,, a lot of scientists have talked about the importance of protecting areas closer to the continental United States — in New England, in the Southeast, in the Gulf.  These are proposals,,, Read the rest here 19:03

Anti Fishing Obama Expands Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

No-Fishing-e1449493453695Obama on Friday will expand a marine national monument off the Northwest Hawaiian Islands to make it the world’s largest marine protected area, encompassing nearly 600,000 square miles and thousands of species of sea life, including endangered sea turtles, whales and black coral beds. The action will make it illegal to conduct any commercial fishing and any type of mineral extraction in the expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the original 140,000 square miles of which was first protected by President George W. Bush in 2006 and designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2010. Obama will travel to Hawaii next week to commemorate the new monument with a trip to Midway Atoll, located within the newly protected area, to highlight “how the threat of climate change makes protecting our public lands and waters more important than ever,” the White House said. Read the rest here 03:54

Hawaii: War Of Words Escalates As Monument Decision Nears

Pew U FlounderSupporters of the fourfold expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument have fired back against an advertisement claiming the proposal would result in people being unable to eat fresh local fish. A coalition called Expand Papahanaumokuakea has been circulating ads supporting the expansion of the monument, which currently covers 139,800 square miles around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The 30-second spot, primarily funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, features several people explaining why the expansion would be positive, citing the preservation of Native Hawaiian culture, fish stocks and new species yet to be discovered. Read the rest here 16:41

Summer 2016 edition – WPFMC Pacific Islands Fishery News! Marine Monument Edition

Western-Pacific-Regional-Fishery-Management-Council-logoWelcome to the Summer 2016 edition of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council’s  Pacific Islands Fishery News! Click here  to download the complete PDF and be sure to  allow a few extra seconds for the file to upload. Featured are various Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument posts. Elected officials on every coast, being lobbied by every environmental non government organization, are pushing for the final Obama Administration assault on fishing, utilizing the Antiquities Act via Executive Order. This is also happening on the East Coast, the West Coast, and in the Gulf of Mexico. Lots of info. Click here to review! 09:00

FDA warns Hawaii seafood processor about handling of tuna

ahi-tuna406x250A seafood-processing facility in Honolulu was found to have “serious violations” of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations during a May 17 and 20 inspection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The resulting warning letter, dated July 27 and sent from the agency’s San Francisco District Office, informed Tropic Fish Hawaii LLC that its “fresh, refrigerated histamine-forming fish products, including Ahi tuna, mahi mahi, and skipjack tuna” are therefore adulterated, meaning that “they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health.” Click here to read the article  11:42

FDA tests confirm hepatitis A in scallops imported from Philippines likely source of outbreak of virus in Hawaii

scallops4U.S. Food and Drug Administration tests found hepatitis A in scallops from the Philippines, which have been identified as the likely source of an outbreak of the virus in Hawaii. The Hawaii Department of Health announced Thursday the FDA laboratory test results of frozen Sea Port Bay Scallops. They’re produced by De Oro Resources Inc. Messages left with the company’s main office in the Philippines weren’t immediately returned. The scallops are imported by Sea Port Products Corp. in Washington state. “I am deeply troubled at the thought that anyone may have become ill from eating product that we shipped,” Sea Port owner Bill Dresser said in a statement. “I am also fully committed to trying to find out how this may have happened and to work to prevent it from happening again not only to Sea Port, but to the entire seafood community.” Read the story here 10:29

All For Sustainability, But Not Monument Expansion

marine-monument-protest-16-640x427Fish and the ocean are significant to Hawaii’s history and culture. Whether it was fishing from shore or getting a half pound of poke, fish was always apart of my life and now it’s my livelihood. When I first heard of the Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument Sanctuary I thought it was a great idea. Protecting the fish, habitats and other marine life is something I stand for. But as I found out more about it, I completely changed my mind. The trend now is to be sustainable — eat sustainable foods and drive cars with sustainable energies. Our Hawaii fishing fleet is an example of fishing sustainably with federal observers onboard, uniquely developed fishing gear and world-renowned handling practices. Strict quotas and GPS tracking on every boat make it nearly impossible to hide anything. Read the rest here 17:26

The Pew Calls for Two-Year Ban on Commercial Fishing in Last Effort to Save the Bluefin Tuna

The Pacific bluefin tuna could become extinct if a two-year ban on commercial fishing is not enacted, according to an environmental group. A a recent meeting in Japan, the Pew Charitable Trusts Global Tuna Conservation Program, it was revealed that the current bluefin tuna population is at just 2.6 of it historic size. The stock assessment concluded the world’s largest tuna fishery – located in the western and central Pacific – has been fished down more than 97 percent. “Scientific estimates have indicated that the population of Pacific bluefin tuna is severely depleted. Still, the governments,,, Amanda Nickerson Pew Populations of both Pacific and Atlantic bluefin have been in decline since the 196os.  Read the rest here 14:32

How Cat Poop Is Killing the Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals

monk-seal-pup-toxo-4-640x371Colonies of feral cats are thriving in neighborhoods all over Oahu, from the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus to Waianae’s homeless encampment, in alleys behind hotels and along trails in the mountains. But it’s not the smells or caterwauling that is of primary concern to scientists.  The biggest issue, federal and state scientists said, is the cats’ unique ability to spread toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that has killed at least eight critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals, two spinner dolphins, nene geese and native birds over the past 15 years.  The problem is pitting scientists trying to save threatened marine mammals and other creatures against animal rights activists trying to save abandoned cats. “You need to stop it at the source, and that means preventing cats from defecating in the environment, whether it’s in the hills or on the beaches,” said Michelle Barbieri, a wildlife veterinary medical officer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. Read the story here 10:24

Coast Guard terminates voyages of 3 commercial fishing vessels for safety violations off Oahu

The crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) terminated the voyages of the 79-foot Lady Jackie, the 62-foot commercial fishing vessel Blue Sky and the 82-foot Jennifer Lynn for hazardous conditions and safety violations during a boardings off Honolulu since Aug. 8. All three vessels were escorted by the Galveston Island crew to the pier in Honolulu. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu personnel are attending the vessels to ensure all discrepancies are rectified prior to any new voyages. The boarding team from the cutter found discrepancies aboard the vessels including inoperable high water alarms, inoperable and/or expired survival craft, expired distress signals, an expired emergency position indicating radio beacon, a lack of or unserviceable life jackets, crews untrained in first aid or emergency procedures and a failure to conduct regular drills. In one case there was excessive fuel in the bilge and in another the vessel’s commercial fishing vessel safety decal and their registration are both expired. More images, read the rest here 18:54

Expanding Antiquities Act Monument Would Set A Dangerous Precedent

hawaii-longline-vessel-640x359The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently held a public meeting to discuss the proposed expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Proponents of the expansion stand behind the request of and a group of seven Native Hawaiians for President Barack Obama to consider invoking the Antiquities Act of 1906 to expand the existing 50 mile monument boundary four-fold. The new monument would include nearly all of the Exclusive Economic Zone surrounding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and a whopping 60 percent of the greater Hawaiian Islands EEZ. In the case of Schatz’s proposal for monument expansion the concept of due process has been forsaken completely. The idea that sound science must be a basis for decision making has been abandoned in the face of a perceived urgency. Instead, the proposal has served to undermine the very structures we have in place to preserve a fair and equitable means of addressing public concerns about a shared resource (read up on Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act.) Read the op-ed here 10:23

WPFMC asks for transparent analysis of proposed marine monument expansion

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council on Wednesday agreed to a resolution that asks the U.S. government to address a suite of concerns before acting on the proposed expansion on the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument or MNM in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Council members Suzanne Case, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources chair, and Julie Leialoha, Conservation Council for Hawaii president, voted against the proposal. National Marine Fisheries Service or NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Administrator Michael Tosatto abstained. The resolution requests a “public, transparent, deliberative, documented and science-based process” to address the proposed expansion, which could prohibit fishing in two-thirds of the U.S. exclusive economic zone, i.e., waters out to 200 miles from shore, around Hawaii. The resolution is being sent to President Obama, the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the secretaries of Commerce, the Interior and State. Read the rest here 16:47

Ex-Parties to the Nauru agreement CEO says fish money wont last

eight_col_transform_aqorauMembers of the Parties to the Nauru agreement are reaping large returns off fishing vessel licenses but the PNA says the windfall won’t last forever. The eight member countries of the PNA and Tokelau employ a vessel day scheme which charges foreign ships at least US$8,000 a day to fish in their waters. High demand for the limited number of fishing days has sparked a bidding war between companies with some paying as much as US$16,000 per day. The outgoing CEO of the PNA, Transform Aqorau, said the demand reveals the value that could be obtained from fisheries but it would not last forever. Dr Aqorau also adds those who want to change the vessel day scheme should think carefully. Read the rest here 11:58

Enviro’s Complain Top Federal Fisheries Official Shouldn’t Be Meddling In Marine Monument Debate

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National MonumentAn environmental group has filed a complaint with federal officials over Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council Executive Director Kitty Simonds’ role in orchestrating opposition to the proposed expansion of the marine monument around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Marjorie Ziegler, executive director of the Conservation Council for Hawaii, says Simonds is providing “the advocacy and the lobbying campaign” against the proposal to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. “It’s totally inappropriate for Kitty Simonds in her official capacity as executive director of Wespac – a taxpayer, federally funded entity – to play such a prominent role in an aggressive lobbying effort to generate public and political opposition to the proposed expansion,” Ziegler said Friday in an interview. The Conservation Council of Hawaii’s complaint was sent Friday to David Smith, deputy inspector general in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Inspector General, and Lois Schiffer, general counsel for the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. Read the story here 14:40

Akaka, Ariyoshi challenge expansion of Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument

Schatz mapGovernment, community and business leaders rallied together at the state Capitol on Tuesday to address their opposition to the proposed expansion of a national marine monument. Among those who spoke at the rally were former Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi, former U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawaii, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Peter Apo and other community and business organizations. On June 15, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, sent a proposal to President Barack Obama to expand Papahanaumokuakea, a fishing sanctuary and Marine National Monument, from 140,000 square miles to 583,000 square miles. If the expansion is implemented, PMNM will be the largest marine conservation in the world. During the rally, concerns against the expansion were shared that included the federal government’s rush to begin the project and the lack of effort in gathering the public’s opinion. “I feel it’s unconscionable for us to enact a new policy of expanding the Papahanaumokuakea without proper transparency,” Akaka said. “The people of Hawaii need to know what this is all about and they need to respond to it.” Read the rest here 19:53

Papahanaumokuakea: Hawaii Fishermen get no response from Obama, Schatz

schatz d pewU.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, has yet to respond to a June 20th request to meet with the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council on his proposal to expand the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument fourfold. Also unanswered are letters sent by the council to President Obama on April 8 and July 14, 2016, with concerns about the impact to Hawaii’s fisheries of the proposals by Schatz and by seven Native Hawaiians in January 2016 that the president expand the monument using his authority under the Antiquities Act. Council Chair Edwin Ebisui Jr., Executive Director Kitty M. Simonds and Vice Chairs McGrew Rice, William Sword, John Gourley and Michael Duenas reminded the Senator that the Council has federal jurisdiction over the waters within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands beyond the current monument boundaries under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. “We are dismayed that you did not consult with the prior to distribution of your letters, which have proliferated unsubstantiated statements through the media,” the council wrote to Schaltz. Read the rest here 10:13

Coast Guard rescues 8 from burning fishing vessel off Oahu

coast guardThe Coast Guard rescued eight crewmembers from a burning ship two miles offshore Oahu, Thursday. Eight people are safe after a rescue and assist team from USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) fought and extinguished an engineroom fire aboard commercial fishing vessel Lady Anna two miles south of Honolulu Harbor. “We were in the right place at the right time,” said Lt. Ryan Ball, commanding officer of USCGC Galveston Island. “This was a combined effort between the Galveston Island crew, the watchstanders at Sector Honolulu and rescue boat crews from Station Honolulu and Honolulu Fire Department. Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center overheard a transmission on VHF channel 16 at 4:30 p.m. regarding a fire aboard the 78-foot fishing vessel Lady Anna. Watchstanders established communication with the vessel, directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Honolulu and diverted the nearby Galveston Island crew to assist. Read the story here 07:59

Hawaii’s longline fleet hits Bigeye tuna quota early

Hawaii TunaThe longline fleet, nearly all of which is based in Honolulu, will now have to travel farther to fish for bigeye, a factor that could lead to better prices for Big Island fisherman bringing in tuna with handlines. Fishing quotas are set years in advance by the Western Pacific Fisheries Commission, an international group of 27 countries. They are based on historical levels of catch “and then reduced quite a bit,” said Eric Kingma, international fisheries enforcement coordinator for the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council. Hawaii’s longline fleet makes up about 3 percent of the worldwide bigeye catch. It’s not clear why this year’s quota of 3,554 metric tons was reached so early. Last year, the fishery closed in August, the earliest the region had ever been restricted. “It’s the same number of hooks (in the water),” said Hawaii Longline Association president Sean Martin. Catch rates are 40 percent higher than historical numbers, he said. Read the rest here 14:16

Zeldin amendment helps the Nation’s Fishermen, prevents abuse of the Antiquities Act of 1906

112215_jpirro_zeldin_1280The amendment bars funding for the designation of any national marine monuments by the president in the Exclusive Economic Zone. Marine monuments are areas of ocean where fishing would be banned without consulting the local community, fishermen, or regional fisheries managers. Mr. Zeldin in a release said the Obama administration’s “overzealous interpretation of this law is causing great concern” among the fishing community because the president has sought to apply his power to vast portions of the ocean. In 2014, he said the president declared a 407,000-square-mile National Marine Monument in the Pacific Ocean where commercial fishing was banned and recreational fishing was severely limited. Now, important fishing areas in the Northwest Atlantic, where fishermen from Greenport and Montauk have long worked, are under consideration with little public input and no transparency. Bonnie Brady, the executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, “These are the critical waters that Mr. Zeldin’s amendment will protect.” Read the rest here 08:07

Pew Calls for 2 year moratorium on Commercial Fishing of Pacific Bluefin Tuna

pacific bluefin tunaThe Pew Charitable Trusts today called for a two-year moratorium on commercial fishing of the highly depleted Pacific bluefin tuna. In this year’s stock assessment, scientists found that the population is at just 2.6 percent of its historic size and that overall fishing mortality remains up to three times higher than is sustainable. Despite that dire state, the two international bodies that manage Pacific bluefin—the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, which met this month in California, and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, which meets in December in Fiji—have failed for several years to agree on a Pacific-wide recovery plan that will end overfishing and return the population to healthy levels. Projections from the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean show that under current conditions, the catch limits now in place have a less than 1 percent chance of successfully rebuilding the population over the next 20 years. Read the rest here 16:27

Former Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi, Chefs Protest Marine Monument Expansion

Set against a backdrop of commercial fishing boats at Pier 38 in Honolulu, former Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi told a crowd of roughly 200 people Friday that they need to work together to stop the proposed expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. “We should not let the federal government come in and tell us what to do with our ocean,” the 90-year-old Ariyoshi said, receiving a round of applause. It was the biggest rally to date against expanding the monument around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Some waved signs saying “Fishing Means Food” and “MVP Most Valuable Poke.” Top chefs like Nico Chaize and George Mavrothalassitis were on hand, along with longline fishermen who object to a further encroachment on their fishing grounds. Read the rest here 18:33

Hawaii fishing, restaurant industries hold rally to protest expansion of fishing ban

sushibloomberg_750xx1200-676-0-69Fishing Means Food, a coalition representing Hawaii’s fishing industry, along with Hawaii chefs, restaurant owners and public figures such as former Gov. George Ariyoshi and Peter Apo, a trustee with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, is holding a rally on Friday to protest a proposed expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and its fishing ban. The rally will be held at 11 a.m. at the Honolulu Fish Auction at Pier 38. The coalition says the expanded fishing ban will push Hawaii’s 140 active commercial fishing boats into international waters where they’ll be forced to compete with less regulated foreign fishing vessels. The expanded ban could reduce the supply of fresh, locally caught fish, impacting such businesses as restaurants, poke shops and wholesalers. Link 08:07

Hawaii’s longline fleet about to hit its 3,554-ton bigeye tuna limit, enviro scorned rule will keep them fishing

Honolulu Fish Auction ahi tuna workersHawaii’s longline fleet is about to hit its 3,554-ton limit for bigeye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific, prompting a closure date for the fishery of July 22, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The longliners had caught an estimated 98 percent of their annual quota by Wednesday, National Marine Fisheries Service reported. The feds had been predicting longliners would hit their bigeye tuna limit by Aug. 14. But the closure will likely be short-lived thanks to a federal rule that proposes, like in years past, allowing U.S. Pacific Island territories — American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands — to each allocate up to 1,000 tons of their 2,000-ton quotas to U.S. longliners under a “specified fishing agreement.” David Henkin, staff attorney for Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization, calls it a “shell game” that allows overfishing, but the courts have so far disagreed. Read the rest here 10:23

Western Pacific Fishery Management Council takes issue with Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz

schatz d pewHawaii Senator Brian Schatz has received a strongly worded letter from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council concerning his support of the proposed expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian islands. A local fishermen who has been following the debate on the proposed expansion says we should be  concerned with what’s happening with Hawaii’s fishery because we are next. He says the Hawaii Monument expansion, just like the designation of the  Remote Pacific Islands Monument and expansion of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa are examples of the influence of funding by special interest groups such as the Pew Foundation. Read the rest here 13:35

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands monument expansion should be opposed – Lyn McNutt

ObamaIf you eliminate the U.S. (Hawaiian) fishery, then the area will be completely open to Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported (IUU) fisheries. U.S. fishers are regulated in equipment, species interactions (takes), amount of fish caught and they have VMS onboard as well as observers. The White House supposedly wants to regulate IUU fishing, but this action opens the door for IUU in the area. Who will stop IUU and how will they enforce rules? The state of Hawaii (DLNR) is very quick to claim how they are trying to create a “community” managed system of fisheries ecosystem management with consultation and community involvement in the planning, implementation and operation of community-based fishing. This top-down edict is a complete 180 from “community.” The Antiquities Act does not require any public input. A small group is forcing their view on the people of Hawaii Nei without any discussion of the public (local — not Mainland) perception on the use of the area. This is not pono. Read the op-ed here 10:31

Who’s Behind A Stealth Ad Against The Marine Monument Expansion?

Screen-Shot-2016-07-07-at-7.53.37-PM-400x296The author seems to believe a stealth video created by an unknown source, most likely a very tiny group of individuals and citizens with a very meager budget, is outrageous, and destructive to a cause created by a billion dollar ENGO PEW, that has unlimited resources, paid soldiers, and a mega network of PEW spawned ENGO’s like Oceana, EDF! Burgeoning grass-root groups are ramping up their campaigns for and against the proposed expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument as President Obama weighs whether he should single-handedly create the world’s biggest marine reserve around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat requested lists from both groups — Expand Papahanaumokuakea and Fishing Means Food — to better assess who actually backs the campaigns. Read the rest here 09:54

Can 1,500 Scientists All Be Wrong urging Obama to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument?

Director Kewalo Marine Lab Robert Richmond PhD2More than 1,500 scientists from around the world have signed a letter urging President Obama to use his executive authority to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. “There is a growing consensus among marine scientists that 30% of the oceans be set aside for adequate protection against human exploitation, yet only two percent presently benefits from full protection,” the letter said. The group said expanding the monument from the current 50-mile boundary to the full 200-mile allowable limit as proposed would be a “substantial step in the right direction, creating the largest reserve in the world.” Read the scientists’ letter to the president, along with a list of everyone who signed it. Read the rest here 09:00

Tagging tuna – The Ahi Satellite Tagging Project of the Pacific Island Fisheries Group

57775508c12ba.imageA respected research professor, scientist and part-time resident has been on Kauai for several weeks coordinating the latest phase of a tuna tagging project launched on Kauai and the Big Island three years ago. Dr. Molly Lutcavage is a research professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s School for the Environment. She is also director of the Large Pelagic Research Center and is renowned for her extensive work with the Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing community. The Ahi Satellite Tagging Project of the Pacific Island Fisheries Group is a joint venture that uses state-of-the art technology and partners fisheries organizations, policy makers and local fishermen in the effort to gather much-needed baseline data on ahi and other pelagic fish that live and migrate in waters surrounding the main Hawaiian islands and beyond. Read the rest here 09:15

US Tuna Treaty survives, new deal for 2017 – Tunaboat Association comments on fishing pact

tuna boat samoaThe US Tuna Treaty has survived after 18 negotiation meetings over the last seven years, with the latest one just concluded in Auckland, New Zealand. The multilateral Treaty is important for American Samoa because it allows US puirse seiners that supply our two canneries to fish in the exclusive economic zones of island countries that are close by. Read the rest here  Tunaboat Association comments on fishing pact – The President of the American Tunaboat Association, Brian Hallman, says the fishing agreement reached over the weekend in Zealand between the United States and Pacific Island countries is from the point of view of the US fleet, the  best outcome they could have achieved under difficult circumstances.  Read the rest here  Tri Marine looks to build coalition – Tri Marine International, which operates the Samoa Tuna Processors cannery in Atuu, says it has been anticipating a change in how the US purse seiners would manage access to the tuna fishing grounds in the Western and Central Pacific for several years. Chief Operating Officer of Tri Marine, Joe Hamby, says now that the future of the US South Pacific Tuna Treaty has been resolved, “we will be able to focus on building a coalition of fishing companies and resource owners committed to supporting American Samoa as a regional tuna processing hub.” Read the rest here  19:55

South Pacific Tuna Treaty renegotiation session concluded successfully

tuna boat samoaThe most recent South Pacific Tuna Treaty renegotiation session concluded successfully on Saturday, June 25, 2016. Negotiators from the United States and representatives of the 16 Pacific Island parties reached agreement in principle on changes to the 27-year-old Tuna Treaty and the terms of fishing access for the U.S. purse seine fleet to Pacific Island waters through 2022. The proposed agreement would establish more flexible procedures for commercial cooperation between U.S. industry and Pacific Island parties. The outcome reflects strong cooperation between the parties to the Treaty and relevant stakeholders, and a mutual commitment to the broader positive relationship between the United States and the Pacific Island region. Read the rest here 09:46

Expanding monument will do more harm than good – Shane Yoshimoto, Honolulu

fisherman-obamaI am writing regarding the proposal to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and to ban commercial fishing there. I work in Hawaii’s fishing industry, but besides it being my livelihood it’s my love and passion. Fish isn’t just a source of food to me or the people of Hawaii; it’s a huge part of the culture. Hawaii’s fishing industry and economy will be impacted if this monument is expanded. I am strongly opposed to the expansion of this monument. We are already limited on locally sourced foods and this would take a significant amount of fresh fish away from Hawaii. Read the rest here 14:04

U.S. Commerce Department announces 2016 regional fishery council appointments

commerceThe U.S. Commerce Department today announced the appointment of 19 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NOAA Fisheries to manage ocean fish stocks. One at-large seat on the Mid-Atlantic Council will be announced by the Secretary at a later date. The new and reappointed council members begin their three-year terms on August 11. Each year, the Secretary of Commerce appoints approximately one-third of the total 72 appointed members to the eight regional councils. The Secretary selects members from nominations submitted by the governors of fishing states, territories and tribal governments. Council members are appointed to both obligatory (state-specific) and at-large (regional) seats.  Council members serve a three-year term and can get reappointed to serve three consecutive terms. Asterisks preceding a member’s name indicate a reappointment. Read it here 17:24

Corals Can Be Saved If We Restore Plankton Cooling

Coral_oahu1Experts at coral reef conference in Honolulu offer little but the same old career safe ideas. Princely paid pundits prefer pitching party lines about perils to presenting practical prescriptions. Solutions proffered are couched in global warming parlance for the coral reefs those propositions will take decades to make progress and then only at a cost of trillions. Corals will be saved by restoring plankton cooling to stop ocean warming, this will produce positive results for coral reefs in a few years time and will cost mere millions. Scientists at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu this week are palavering about the latest research on our planet’s imperiled reef. With a little more googling instead of oogling they might quickly discover how the most beautiful bathing beauties at the beach the corals can be saved. Read the article here 17:05

Antiquities Act abuse heads East – U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah)

ObamaSome say cultural trends start on the West Coast and make their way East, but one trend moving eastward is bad news for New Englanders. In my home state of Utah, the federal government owns 65 percent of the land. That is a problem. In the waning days of his administration, President Clinton compounded the problem by mandating the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. With virtually no local support, he locked up 1.7 million acres of Utah, an area larger than some states. This monument designation was an abuse of the Antiquities Act. Passed in 1906, the Antiquities Act was originally intended for presidents to quickly prevent looting of archaeological sites. The executive power exercised under the Antiquities Act has grown far beyond the original purpose.,, The same story threads throughout the West, most recently in February when President Obama — who has designated the highest acreage of national monument land and water of any U.S. president — designated three different national monuments in the California desert. Now the president has his sights set on New England fisheries off the coast of Cape Cod. Read the rest here 08:46

Peter Apo: Obama Should Say No To Expanded Marine Monument

President Obama is considering a request to more than quadruple the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to 580,000 square miles – an area as large as the states of Texas, California and Montana. If Obama takes this step, the federal government essentially would assert control over hundreds of thousands of miles of ocean around Hawaii with no public discussion. According to the Antiquities Act of 1906, the trigger to designate an area as a national monument is simply the president’s signature. No discussion required — not by Congress, not by state government and not by citizens who rely on the targeted geo-cultural area. Read the story here 16:11

Scientist sees no benefit in expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Monument

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National MonumentA senior scientist from the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council says there’s no conservation benefits in expanding Hawaii’s protected waters. Council members are opposing the plan to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Monument saying it would be detrimental to Hawaii’s economy, food security and food production. An executive order, issued by President Obama in 2014, would increase the Monument five-fold and reduce the available fishing grounds in the exclusive economic zone around Hawaii from 63 to 15 percent. The scientist, Paul Dalzell, said claims that the monument’s expansion would improve conservation were false. He says, “It will not improve things for fisheries or for the abundance of marine fish. “For a start off, it’s open ocean so pelagic species just swim through it. It won’t pile up there and then replenish fish stocks around the main Hawaiians.”  Link 16:19

Scientist says expanding Hawaii monument is abuse of law

fisherman-obamaUnited States President Barack Obama announced a series of measures in 2014 to protect parts of the world’s oceans which include expanding Hawaii’s Papahanaumokuakea monument under the Antiquities Act. The plan would increase the monument, or reserve, fivefold and could reduce the available fishing grounds in the US exclusive economic zone waters around Hawaii from 63 percent to 15 percent. Members of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council said it would be detrimental to Hawaii’s economy, food security and food production as 95 per cent of its fisheries rely on domestic fishing. Paul Dalzell said claims that the expansion would improve conservation were false. “The Antiquities Act was meant to protect small places. Stop them from being overrun by tourists or being stripped by souvenir hunters. And it’s supposed to be the for the smallest area possible. It was never intended to parcel off great large areas of land or indeed to be applied to make these huge expansions of water.” Link 09:19

Obama’s moving closer to creating the world’s largest marine reserve — in Hawaii

fisherman-obamaObama may have chosen to locate his library in his adopted home state of Illinois, but a new move by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) suggests he may leave his biggest environmental footprint in his home state of Hawaii. Schatz sent a letter Thursday to the president asking him to consider expanding the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which President George W. Bush created a decade ago, to more than four times its current size of 139,800 square miles. The senator, who has emerged as a key broker between Hawaiian fishing and other local interests and the federal government, has included a carve-out in his proposal so recreational and subsistence fishing operators from Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau can continue to use certain areas that are outside the monument’s current boundaries.  An active fishing spot around the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather buoy 51101 would remain open, though all the areas within the expanded monument would be closed to fishing or other forms of exploitation such as deep-sea mining. Read the rest here 08:05

Would Hawaii Marine Monument Expansion Hurt The Tuna Industry?

Conservationists and others are crying foul over letters that state lawmakers recently sent President Obama that urged him to not consider expanding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. They’re specifically concerned about the numbers used to justify opposition, calling the estimated $7 million financial hit to the longline tuna fishing industry misleading at best. “It’s just a false logic to suggest that a mobile fishery resource has to be fished in this particular location,” said David Henkin, staff attorney for Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization. “You’re talking about catching fish,” Henkin said. “You’re not cutting down trees. You’re not mining for gold.” Representatives of the longline fishing industry say it’s not so much about how much money from ahi they would potentially lose if the monument is expanded as it is about the government further limiting the places they can fish. “The fact of the matter is that we continue to be squeezed out of traditional areas,” said Sean Martin, president of the Hawaii Longline Association. Read the story here 08:04

CNMI Lt. Gov. Hocog Asks Western Pacific Fishery Management Council to Collaborate on Three Key Issues

14acd1a0-61f6-4794-bdfc-bd9cb84e37a6Acting Gov. Victor Hocog of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) today asked the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council to work with the Commonwealth to address regulations that impact the people of the CNMI. On behalf of Gov. Ralph Torres, who is off-island, Hocog made his remarks during the opening of the 166th meeting of the Council today at the Fiesta Resort & Spa in Garapan, CNMI. “I humbly ask this Council to consider the state our people are faced with,” he added. “I choose to ask the Council in the days ahead on this meeting to give serious thoughts and consideration [on how we can] work together and achieve what islanders need without compromising standards.” Hocog listed three items of concern: 1) the 0 to 3 miles of submerged lands and waters around islands of the Islands Unit of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument (MNM) that have not been conveyed to the CNMI; 2) sea turtles and sharks; and 3) US military bombing of Farallon de Medinilla (FDM). Read the press release here 21:26

Fishermen protest marine reserve at Kaupulehu

3609662_web1_Kaupulehu-protest-2-06-04-16KAUPULEHU — The sea is full of fish. Especially on one stretch of North Kona coastline whose closure for 10 years needs only the governor’s signature to be final. That’s according to the 40 or so fishermen who lined Queen Kaahumanu Highway waving signs on Saturday to protest the establishment of the Kaupulehu Marine Reserve, the island’s first initiative to put a reef off-limits to fishing while a subsistence plan is drafted for the 3.6 miles of coastline at Kaupulehu Bay. Anglers who troll, cast nets and fish with spears were angered that such bounty was being placed out of their reach, and questioned the state’s motives for the closure. “Out of all of the areas on the island, they want to close the one in front of the millionaires and billionaires,” said Abram Boido, owner of Mobile Marine Repair Service in Kailua-Kona. “Ask yourself, is it the fishing?” Read the story here 21:54

Two companies have proposed offshore wind farms in Hawaii

floating windmillThe federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the agency that would decide whether to approve ocean leases for the projects, held a meeting about the proposals Monday. Among concerns raised so far is the potential danger that whales or submarines could bump into the cords anchoring the turbines to the ocean floor, said Henry Curtis, executive director of Life of the Land, a Hawaii nonprofit organization. “Do you want to really turn the ocean into the next industrial site?” Curtis asked. Some fishermen are concerned about the possible impact on birds flying over the sea. “The best fish spotters we have are birds,” said Ron Tam, secretary of the Hawaii Fishermen’s Alliance for Conservation and Tradition. “And then, are we going to be able to fish in and about and through these floating machines? We don’t know…That has a definite economic impact.” Read the rest here 11:42

Dear President Obama – Opposed to expanding Papahanaumokuakea marine monument, Isaac and Shyla Moon, Kalaheo

fisherman-obamaA group of seven Hawaii residents (William Aila, Kamanaopono Crabbe, Isaac Harp, Kekuewa Kikiloi, Marvin Kaleo Manuel, Victoria Holt Takamine, Nainoa Thompson) recently wrote you a letter asking you to expand the current Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument in Hawaii, from 50 miles to 200 miles. There are no clear promises that the expansion will not encroach middle banks and the buoys that many of Kauai’s fishermen go to. Over the past five years we have attended numerous meetings and hearings. The overall feeling from our community is that we’re being overrun and taken advantage of by the government, regardless of existing state management policies and regulations. Read the rest here 11:48

Hawaii Lawmakers To Obama: Don’t Grow Marine Monument

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National MonumentAmid the flurry of final votes on hundreds of bills last week, Hawaii lawmakers privately weighed whether to sign a letter to President Obama that Rep. James Tokioka was circulating during the last few days of the legislative session. The letter called on the president not to consider expanding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, stating that “there is no scientific justification or conservation benefit in doing so.” In all, 30 House lawmakers, including Speaker Joe Souki, signed the May 3 letter. Just days earlier, Hawaii Senate President Ron Kouchi sent Obama a nearly identical one. This opposition, which lawmakers kept out of public view, has been overshadowed by a strong public push to expand the monument, officially designated by President George W. Bush as Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in 2007. Read the rest here 08:27

Group calls on President Obama to dramatically expand NW Islands Marine Monument

A group of roughly 20 Native Hawaiians, local fishermen, scientists and conservationists rallied Thursday morning at Kewalo Marine Laboratory, armed with a 43,000-signature (Pew) petition urging President Barack Obama to expand federal protections around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.President George W. Bush established Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in 2006 as, at the time, the largest fully protected marine reserve on the planet. Its protections, which include prohibitions against commercial fishing, extend 50 miles outside the island chain. The group wants Obama to expand the monument to the maximum limit that federal jurisdiction allows — 200 miles out, with certain exceptions. That would make it nine times its current size of 139,797 square miles, and bigger than all the country’s national parks combined. Read the rest here 11:04

Proposal For At Sea Observers Could Further Hurt U.S. Purse Seiner Fleet

obs_logo_lgA new fishery rule that the federal government is moving to implement is expected to deal another financial blow to the US purse seiner fleet, which is already faced with stiff competition from foreign vessels such as the Chinese fleet, who are subsidized by their government, China. US National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) has proposed a rule which would require Observers to be on board US purse seiners fishing in the western and central Pacific ocean (WCPO). The proposal was issued last week under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act. It is a three-pronged proposed rule, which includes a move to establish restrictions in 2016 and 2017 on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) by U.S. purse seine vessels in the WCPO; and to establish limits in 2016 and 2017 on the amount of bigeye tuna that may be captured by U.S. longline vessels in the WCPO. Read the rest here 11:54

Companies Express Disappointment in Slow Progress of South Pacific Tuna Treaty Negotiations

“Thetuna boat samoa has been unable to operate at full capacity due to ongoing Treaty negotiations since August of 2015. Our Fleet was forced to cease fishing operations entirely in the first quarter of this year. Even so, we have not wavered and have been working against the clock since the U.S. announced a formal withdrawal from the existing Treaty in January. As I have stated before, a dissolution of this Treaty would be devastating to the U.S. Fleet and the tuna industry as a whole, collapsing the vessels operating under U.S. Flag, as well as the commercial operations that depend on their harvest. This has a direct effect on thousands of jobs in the Islands Nations, American Samoa and in the continental U.S. Read the story here 08:34

Video shows man attacking Hawaiian monk seal, culture expert mentions commercial fishermen?

One of Kauai’s most popular Hawaiian monk seals was attacked on Tuesday night at Salt Pond Beach Park, and a video recording of the scuffle is circulating on social media. The footage shows an unidentified man enter the water at Salt Pond at sunset and attack RK30, a full-grown female monk seal, in what appears to be an attempt to chase the her from her resting place on the beach. Kumu Sabra Kauka, who teaches Hawaiian culture through education around the island, said she was disturbed when she saw the video. “That kind of behavior is uncalled for and is inexcusable,” she said. “Being high or drunk is no excuse. She said sometimes this kind of aggression toward the Hawaiian Monk Seals stems from the commercial fishing community and the mindset that the seals are stealing the fish from their nets. Read the article here Watch the video here 13:03

Brad Hunter: Modern day hunter-gatherer

3302139_web1_1-brad--mahi-mahi-by-Toby-Jinno-copyIs Brad Hunter a paleo man? Well, almost. Between 15,000 and 7,000 B.C., paleo people were migratory, following their food sources. They ate animals that they hunted or fished as well as nuts, berries and vegetables that they gathered. Not until the development of agriculture were people able to stay in one place without risking starvation. Today, Brad hunts fish for animal protein and gathers seeds and cuttings to grow food on his farm. (early days) During these youthful travels, Brad visited a surfing friend in New Jersey. While there, he was offered a lucrative job with a commercial fishing fleet out of Barnegat Light, just north of Atlantic City. He stayed with the company for 10 years, doing longline fishing 200 miles off shore in the Gulf Stream. Read the rest here 18:18

Hawaiian leaders urge President Barack Obama to expand marine conservation area

fisherman-obamaA group of Native Hawaiian leaders have urged President Barack Obama to expand what’s already one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. But the president of the Hawaii Longline Association said Friday the lobbying effort is using Hawaiian culture as an excuse to close off more waters to fishermen. Papahanaumokuakea (pah-pah-HAH-now-moh-cuh-ah-cay-ah) Marine National Monument is a 140,000-square-mile area of the Pacific where remote islands, atolls, islets and coral reefs serve as habitat for some of the world’s most endangered species. The region is also a sacred place in the history, culture and cosmology of Native Hawaiians. Read the rest here 09:47

Commercial fisherman Jonathon Hoag meets joint team who saved his life

450x299_q95 jon hoag“Who wouldn’t?” Hoag said. “A group of people who saved your life, three lives… to send a post card or a ‘thank you’ note? No, I don’t think so.” After shaking hands and personally thanking those involved in his extraction, Hoag took some time to talk about the rescue. “We were just doing our normal thing, we were fishing,” Hoag said. “It was rougher than usual; we didn’t really fish in the morning because it was so rough. We have a big sea anchor that we use so we just basically rode it out for a while. Later on in the late afternoon it ended up lying down a little bit and we got up to where we fish. The fishing was decent so we fished until just before dark.” On March 11, watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received an emergency distress call that would evolve into the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy conducting a successful SAR mission to transport Hoag and his two crew members to safety. Read the story, click here 07:03