Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 3439

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, March 6, 2017


The distinctive horn of this quirky-looking reef fish inspired its common name, the unicornfish. 
Known as kala in Hawaiian, unicornfish can live for more than 50 years. Kala are popular among 
fishermen but its long lifespan makes it vulnerable to overfishing. 
Photo from NOAA Fisheries/Kevin Lino

MANY HAWAIIAN REEF FISH ARE OVERFISHED, according to a just-released assessment of their populations. The new study of Hawai`i's coral reef fish shows that 11 of 27 species, including kala and uhu, are experiencing some level of overfishing, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. The researchers report that that other reef fish are “in a much better condition.”
Ulua is the Hawaiian name for  Bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus).  
Ulua are among the 11 species that are being overfished.  
Photo from NOAA Fisheries/Jeanette Clark
     “Typically, fish that live the longest or fish that are highly targeted by fishermen tended to be in poorer condition.” wrote the NOAA researchers. “For example, kala (the bluespine unicorn fish) can live for decades (more than 50 years), are a popular target, and are currently experiencing overfishing. Compare that with species such as weke nono (Pflueger's goatfish) that only live up to six years and are in better condition.”


The study says, “Surgeonfishes and parrotfishes were families with the most vulnerable species, while goatfish populations were generally in better condition. In all, our assessment suggests that ulua, five surgeonfish, two goatfish, and three parrotfish species are doing poorly. Ultimately, this assessment generated management options for a range of overfishing risk levels.”
     NOAA researchers used the average length of each species to calculate current fishing mortality rates and combined this information with maximum known age, growth, and maturity data to calculate current stock condition.
     “Kala are one of many fish species that inhabit coral reefs around the main Hawaiian Islands and are of great importance socially, culturally, and economically.
A school of yellowfin goatfish (Mulloidichthys vanicolensis).
Photo from NOAA Fisheries/Andrew E. Gray
     “Reef fish are a valuable source of food for local fishermen, hold significance in Hawaiian culture, and draw tourists to explore their underwater habitats. Despite their importance to fisheries in Hawai‘i, there was not a lot of information on how populations of certain species were doing. To answer this question for fishery managers, we collected and considered information on fish numbers, sizes, and biology from diver surveys, life history studies, and commercial and recreational catch numbers ,” explained the NOAA researchers.
     “We then compared those conditions to well-established sustainability guidelines,” wrote the researchers. “This allowed us to provide information on which reef fish species are currently threatened by overfishing and propose options for future fisheries management. Now, for the first time, we present assessments of 27 different Hawaiian reef fish including kala (bluespine unicornfish), uhu (various parrotfishes), kumu (whitesaddle goatfish), ulua (giant trevally), and many other species.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

MANY TEACHERS WILL WEAR RED TUESDAY at Hawai`i’s state public schools, including Na`alehu, Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary.  The plan by organizers is to wear red and wave signs Tuesday morning before school begins to show solidarity and draw attention to teacher contract negotiations. According to the teachers union, the Hawai`i State Teachers Association, key members of the state’s negotiating team have not been present at contract talks, impeding both sides from fully discussing important items.


HSTA has called for a "fair contract" with a pay package that would attracts and retain teachers, which would help end the state’s teacher shortage crisis.  Hawai`i's high cost of living and relatively lower teacher pay compared to other expensive places to live is a deterrent for teachers staying here.
      The sign waving and walk-in are part of a campaign entitled Schools Our Keiki Deserve.  
Teachers in Ka`u plan to wear read Tuesday to bring awareness of their union
contract negtiaions. Hawai`i has the highest cost of living in the country,
but teacher salaries are lower than in other places with similar costs.
     Tuesday’s event is sponsored by HSTA, which is the exclusive representative of more than 13,500 public school teachers statewide.


For more on this event and the back story, please read the Ka’u News Briefs of March 3.  

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

THE NEW TRAVEL BAN ISSUED BY PRES. DONALD TRUMP on Tuesday drew this response from Ka`u's Representative in the U.S. House:
     “True to our history and values as a nation, we have served as a place of refuge to the most vulnerable in the world. We should not be putting in place a blanket ban of refugees, especially when we have actively been fueling the counterproductive regime change wars that have caused them to flee their homes. These people would much rather stay in their homes and live in peace. That’s why we must address the cause of this refugee crisis and end the destructive U.S. policy of counterproductive regime-change wars, as we’ve seen most recently in Iraq, Libya, and now in Syria.”

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

DAILY DIRECT FLIGHTS TO DENVER FROM KONA will start on June 8. This service, on United Airlines, is currently available weekly.
     The flight will leave Kona at 8 p.m. and arrive in Denver around 6:45 a.m. The flight will leave Denver at 11:45 a.m. and arrive in Kona around 3 p.m.
     "Starting this summer we're offering more flights, to more destinations at more convenient times than in recent memory," said Scott Kirby, president of United Airlines. "And with bigger and more modern aircraft for many of our flights, we'll be getting you to the moments that matter most - relaxed and ready to go."
     United Airlines and United Express operate more than 4,500 flights a day to 339 airports across five continents. In 2016,
     United and United Express operated more than 1.6 million flights carrying more than 143 million customers. United operates 737 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express partners operate 483 regional aircraft.

Hawaiian Cordage Workshops, Tue, Mar 7/28, 1 – 4 p.m., Volcano Art Center. With Gary Eoff. 967-8222

Unforeseen Consequences of Sandalwood Trade, Tue, Mar 7, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Paul Field, park volunteer and retired professor of History at Windward Community College, discusses how the sandalwood trade impacted relations between commoners and chiefs, altered the concept of mana and led to the first official interference of the U.S. government in affairs of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Free; park entrance fees apply.

Weave Coconut Fronds (Ulana Niu), Wed, Mar 8, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Learn how to weave coconut fronds into useful and beautiful items with local expert Cathy Gouveia. The coconut palm is one of the most useful and important plants in the world. Free; park entrance fees apply.

Jazz in the Forest, Sat, Mar 11, Volcano Art Center. With Jean Pierre Thoma & The Jazztones. 967-8222


Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 3439