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Posts Tagged ‘Aquaculture’

Mahalo to all who took action in the last few months, asking the Army Corps of Engineers to hold a public hearing on a permit to allow Hawai’i Ocean Technology, Inc. (HOTI) to build a proposed 247-acre ahi tuna feed lot off the Kohala Coast. 100% of the feed for this project would be imported from fisheries in places like Peru, and 90% of the tuna they feedlot will be exported to Japan and the continental U.S. (Does this sound like local food sovereignty to you? Not so much.)

Last week, we got news that HOTI has withdrawn their permit application. They may still be looking to do a smaller one-cage “experimental” operation. We’ll keep you updated. But for now, count this is a victory for the ocean.  Mahalo for your action! Thanks to you, we’re a little closer today to a collective vision of food sovereignty and a functioning food system for Hawai’i. To learn more or to join the hui in support of pono aquaculture, you can go to www.ponoaqua.org

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From Marti:

Study in Sweden found that new antifouling chemical medetomidine (used to prevent the buildup of barnacles, seaweed/marine organisms on the cages/nets of open water fish farms) causes paler fish, affecting the skin cells that contain dark pigment.  It also appears to affect a detoxifying enzyme in the fish’s livers, which could result in lessened ability to filter environmental toxins (like PCBs or mercury!)

Looks like, in the race to replace TBT to keep fish farm nets and boat bottoms critter-free, it’s back to the drawing board.

See full article at:  http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/12238/antifouling-causes-paler-fish

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Close to 5,000 people gathered this past weekend, the culmination of a 500 km march, led by biologist Alexandra Morton, to protest open ocean fish farms and the impacts they are having on wild fish in British Columbia. As we open our doors to open ocean farms for ahi in Hawai’i, do we have something to learn from their experience in B.C.?

See video: http://www.globaltvbc.com/video/index.html?releasePID=tVSow1MygokzZOHDBa99s317z8BmiyTn

From Dr. Neil Frazer, a UH Professor (SOEST) born and raised in British Columbia:

In BC, native peoples (called “First Nations”) are very angry with farms. Near farms they have lost their subsistence fishing, their salmon and clams.

Many BC tourism companies are very unhappy because sportfish and wildlife have greatly declined near farms. Farmers have shot many marine mammals.

Salmon farming in BC is controlled by two large Norwegian companies: Marine Harvest and Cermaq.

First Nations from BC have gone to Norway twice to plead with the Norwegians to move their farms. Imagine native Hawaiians having to fly to Norway some day to plead for removal of farms.

Many lawsuits against sea-cage farmers are now in the BC courts. Solid citizens are marching down the highways in protest. It’s a mess.

Problems with sea-cage farms are not confined to BC. Many people in other countries are very unhappy with sea-cage fish farms.

Hawaii should look into it. Why import the mistakes of other countries?

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Today, Hawai’i is looking at a proposed new offshore ahi tuna farm–the very first ever to be approved for waters under U.S. jurisdiction. Of course, to raise fish that eat fish (carnivorous fish), you need… fish. Fish like anchovies, generally taken from fisheries around the global south, particularly Central and South America.

The fact that a significant amount of the fish caught on this planet goes to make fish meal (for feeding fish and other farmed livestock) is a growing concern for world health and food security (Global and Regional Food Consumption Patterns and Trends, World Health Organization, Section 3.5).

The 247-acre operation proposed for Hawai’i, to be run by Hawaii Ocean Technology, Inc., will require 12,000 tons of fish feed annually, at full operation (according to its own EIS, prepared by Tetratech).

This short movie–“The Greed for Feed”–is testament to some of the impacts that fish feed harvesting has had on coastal Peruvian communities.

When we talk about aquaculture and “food security” in Hawai’i… is this what we mean?

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This issue of Edible Hawaiian Islands is devoted to fish, fishing, and fisheries. How fish gets from the sea to your plate, and everything in between.

Some interesting ideas on the future for “sustainable” fisheries by Jon Letman, and on raising fish “Loko” style by Rob Parsons.

We’re liking: Rob’s interview with Michael Kumuhauoha Lee, of the ‘Ewa Beach Limu Restoration Project–

Lee believes that modern Western aquaculture systems run into difficulties by trying to maximize dollar output, and by not looking at how true natural resource systems of abundance are created. “It is the Hawaiian belief,” says Lee, “that everything is a living being. The outer fishpond rock walls are like the skin–they are porous and allow zoo-plankton to pass through. Plankton and algae are among the most basic life forms.

“The fresh-water springs are like a circulatory system,” says Lee. “It is essential to set up a diverse biosphere, and to plant and seed the limu to attract the fish into the pond. Don’t disregard the vitality of the elemental systems, the safeguards and the knowledge that is already here.”

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Mahalo to Rob Parsons (our amazing Food and Water Watch Hawaiʻi Outreach Coordinator and our friend and fellow member of the Pono Aquaculture Alliance) for this April round-up on efforts towards sustainable, pono aquaculture in Hawai’i:

The month of April has been full-tilt on the forefront of aquaculture issues in Hawaii, and beyond. We announced the formation of the Pono Aquaculture Alliance, broadened the scope of our outreach, and got a good deal of press coverage (see links below).

We gave presentations at UH-Maui College, UH-Manoa, Kawaihae, and in mauka Kona, taped an AKAKU public access TV show with Elle Cochran on Maui, did a two-hour radio show with Brickwood Galuteria, held a press conference at the capital, talked with legislators, and met candidates Neil Abercrombie and Gary Hooser at a Dem party function. We also met with Walter Ritte and Noelani Lee Yamashita on Molokai, and see their fishpond restoration efforts, and met with Ed Cichon of Maui Fresh Fish, LLC, who hopes to raise opakapaka in cages off Lanai. Yesterday was the NOAA regional “listening session” to accept input on NOAA’s efforts to draft a “sustainable ocean aquaculture” policy.

What a month! From us at KAHEA, mahalo pumehana to all those who are giving of their time, efforts, and mana’o on this issue–for their passionate care for our ocean, Hawaiian waters, Hawaiian fish, food sovereignty & security, and the aloha ‘āina that powers this movement.

TV and newspaper links:
Andrew Gomes/ Honolulu Advertiser on PAA press conference
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20100409/BUSINESS/4090332/Group+urges+fish-farming+safeguards

Coalition champions sustainable fish production in Hawaii
http://www.hawaii247.org/2010/04/09/coalition-champions-sustainable-fish-production-in-hawaii/

Coalition alleges fish farms hurt land
By Gene Park  HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN
http://www.starbulletin.com/business/20100409_Coalition_alleges_fish_farms_hurt_land.html

Is There an Open Season on Open Ocean Aquaculture?
Reported by: Ron Mizutani/ KHON Channel 2
http://www.khon2.com/content/news/developingstories/story/Is-There-an-Open-Season-on-Open-Ocean-Aquaculture/asLsjbbXBUSQH84WJdKZEQ.cspx

Residents voice concerns over aquaculture project
by Chelsea Jensen/ West Hawaii Today
Saturday, April 10, 2010 7:17 AM HST
http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2010/04/10/local/local02.prt

Net pen in harbor draws investigation
by Carolyn Lucas/ West Hawaii Today
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 9:30 AM HST
http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2010/04/07/local/local04.txt

Community questions fish farms
By Hadley Catalano/ Big Island Weekly
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 9:59 AM HST
http://www.bigislandweekly.com/articles/2010/04/14/read/news/news08.txt

Fish farm frenzy
Watchdog group releases report criticizing open aquaculture in Hawai‘i
SEAMUS HOGG/HONOLULU WEEKLY
APR 14, 2010
http://honoluluweekly.com/feature/2010/04/fish-farm-frenzy/

Coalition knocks nascent Hawaii industry
By Denise Recalde
editorial@fis.com/ http://www.fis.com
http://fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?monthyear=&day=12&id=36169&l=e&special=&ndb=1%20target=

Report Blasts Hawaii Aquaculture
Environmental Group Claims Fish Farming Not Environmentally Sustainable
Dick Allgire KITV 4 News Reporter
POSTED: 2:48 pm HST April 8, 2010
http://www.kitv.com/news/23096058/detail.html

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Mahalo to Rob Parsons, long-time Maui resident, journalist, and local environmental advocate for his detailed report-back on the Honolulu NOAA “listening session” yesterday. The post below is from his notes on the meeting:

Yesterday’s NOAA listening session was one of six being held nationwide to solicit input as NOAA strives to establish a policy for “sustainable ocean aquaculture.” About 80 people showed up at the second floor of the Ala Moana Hotel, a block from the Hawaii Convention Center and Ala Moana Shopping Center, for the 2 1/2 hour meeting.

It is clear that the word went out to those in the industry, and associated with UH, the Oceanic Institute, and the Hawaii Aquaculture Association. Fortunately, even given the fact that the meeting was in Honolulu only (no provisions for participation by those on neighbor islands) and in the middle of a workday, we had a decent showing from members of the Pono Aquaculture Alliance, and conservation groups.

The session was facilitated by Andy Winer, who headed the Hawaii Obama presidential campaign and is now a political appointee to NOAA. I spoke with him afterwards; he said this is very preliminary and very wide open, just asking input for now, He said when they come forward with a draft policy (he mentioned 4 months, but I think that is ambitious) he said things will be much more serious. He spoke of their goal: “To implement a new sustainable aquaculture policy.” “The policy components are that it be science-based, eco-system focused, promote innovation, and that there be a clear and efficient management system. The big question is, What will be NOAA’s role?”

He also mentioned the importance of production, restoration, and enhancement. Also jobs and socio-economic factors. He also said this should look at how it fits with other NOAA programs.

After his intro, Dr. Jo Ann Leong of Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology gave a pro-OOA Powerpoint.  Said there is no way historic fishponds can provide enough fish. Said Hawaii 20250 Sustainability Plan supports this, and that we should “create a sustainability ethic.” We’re way behind China and Norway in sales. ($34.7M in 2008….mostly in algae nutraceuticals, not finfish, I’d guess). Mentioned challenges.

NOTE: Keynote speaker Dr. Leong is on the board for Hawaii Oceanic Technology, a company currently proposing a massive ahi feedlot off the coast of the Big Island.  Is this a bit too cozy a relationship? Is this pono?

Overall, about 20 people spoke in favor of supporting open ocean aquaculture, and 10 of us expressed concerns and cautions:

Strongly Pro-OOA

1) Dave Takaki (?) “resurrecting fishponds is not economically feasible, and is virtually insurmountable”
2) Dr. Tetsuzan “Benny” Ron, UH Aquaculture Prog. Coord. – “building a sustainable future….all should support this”
3) Todd Low, Mgr. Aquaculture Dev’t Prog., Dept of Ag- “diversify economy, food self-sufficiency. HI sets the standards”
4) John Corbin, consultant (former director ADP) “Farming in the EEZs puts food on tables.” “We have BMPs.”
5) Todd Hendrix, retired science teacher- uses Cousteau 1973 quote (!). “HI oceans are nutrient poor and this helps.”
6) Ron Weidenbach, Pres. HI Aqua Assoc.- supports “truthful presentation based on science” wants increased R&D.
7) Tony Ostrowski, Pres. Oceanic Institute- said their mission is to secure a seafood source (for consumption) HOWEVER, their website give the following mission statement: The mission of the Ocean Institute is to inspire all generations, through education, to become responsible stewards of our oceans.
8. Steven Von Kampen Louis, young, student, in favor.
9) Brian Miyamoto, Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation- “Huge opportunity. Should be able to develop safe practices.”
10) Dr. Steven Dollar, does water monitoring for Hukilau et al- “Problems don’t exist here.”
11) Michael Berman- “spend time listening to the people who are in the (aquaculture) field.”
12) Ronnie Nasuti (?), exec chef, Roy’s- “Can’t talk about science or politics—I cook. People love eating the moi.”
13) Norman Nong (?), Cinnamon’s restaurant- “can’t afford local fish on our menu” “I’m for aquaculture, of course.”
14) Clyde Tamaru, UH-CTAHR (former UH-Sea Grant)- Used the sea horse farm at NELHA as an example. (!)
15) Kimokeo Kapahulehua, pres. Fishpond assoc on Maui- “Keep the culture intact.” Then in his last 30 seconds he
said we should support Maui Fresh Fish LLC’s plan to raise opakapaka off Lanai. (he is their hired consultant).
16) Sean Martin, WESPAC- Support HB 4363, etc. Magnuson-Stevens act defines OOA as a “fishery.”
17) Bill Spencer, CEO HOT and HVCA- (waited until last to speak) “I’m the only one in the US who has been given the
permit for a tuna farm. I’m proud to be for-profit and make money for my investors. We are environmentally
responsible and economically sustainable. Hawaii is the perfect model to follow for permitting. The permit process
has consumed more than one third of our investment capital to date.”

Support with Conditions:

18) Steve Chaiken, HAA, Molokai Sea Farms- Has 22 earthen ponds w/ fish, shrimp, seaweed. “Very expensive to simulate the ocean on land.” “Some say we shouldn’t use the Pacific Ocean to raise fish—I share some of those concerns.” NOAA needs to partner for BMPs. “Gov’t isn’t good at planning carrying capacity. Look at Waikiki.” “Don’t let an asset turn into a liability.” “What we’ve done well here is research. Esp. disease mgmt.”
19) Glen Martinez, Olomana Gardens (Waimanalo)- “should have a mtg on Big Island—they have 22 aquaponic farms.”
20) Randy Cates, Hukilau Foods- After 10 years, I’m tired. Likes “balance” in the ocean. Donates fish to groups.

Not for OOA without stringent guidelines

22) Marti Townsend, KAHEA- “Hawaii is not your laboratory, its resources are not expendable.” NOAA could support fishpond restoration. “Use traditional knowledge.” Challenges the idea of ‘farming the ocean’ (Cousteau). “Plantation ag over the past century has been very harmful. Need more outreach. Only a 2-hour mtg, and at Ala Moana Hotel? Should be on the Big Island. You are limiting who will attend by holding it here.”
23) Trisha Kehaulani Watson, PhD.- Two points: Culture and community are missing. Ocean is also a cultural resource. It is both our church and our classroom. Community—Conflict is brewing here. Let state and local gov’ts come up with local solutions that are site-appropriate.
24) Rob Parsons, PAA, FWW et al- mainly read PAA criteria and unity statement. Asked that NOAA take a step back and ask whether a OOA policy should be developed, not how.
25) Dr. Neil Frazer, UH-“Would be sorry to see Hawaii and the U.S. Repeat the mistakes of my native British Columbia.”Should learn from the mistakes made in (mis-)mgmt of capture fisheries. Listed criteria for pono aquaculture.
26) Keiko Bonk, Marine Cons. Biol. Institute and Save Our Seals- “Questions about the ability to be a clean industry. We’d like to see a plan before allowing ventures to start up first. Especially for large-scale ventures. Large ag has ruined our land. Start small—large doesn’t work. What does sustainable mean? Long-term good, and minimal consequences. Too many factors don’t make sense as an industry.”
27) Dave Raney, Chair Sierra Club Marine Action Team- “Using mostly herbivorous fish is important. SC supports OOA only if it is truly sustainable and ecologically sound. NOAA should develop policy with specific criteria. Serious reservations about industrial scale operations.”
28) Linda Paul, Hawaii Audubon Society- Set enforceable national standards. OOA shouldn’t be substitute for re-stocking overfished stocks. Forage fish stocks are already fully exploited. Shouldn’t be substituted with soy because of naturally occurring estrogen.
29) Zuri “Z” Aki, UH student, “Support aquaculture, but I don’t support the current model of caged fish. Look into
getting communities into the ahupua`a (land-to-sea) model, not the corporate model.”

*KAHEA also submitted comments on behalf of Uncle Pilipo Souza and Uncle Isaac Harp.

Written comments may be submitted up until May 14th. Comments may be submitted through this link: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/aquaculture/policy1/comments.htm

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