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Friday, November 17, 2000

Proposed Pupukea
fishing preserve outlined

Suggested rule changes draw comments
from North Shore residents

By Harold Morse

Banning all fishing in the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District except for pole and line fishing in Waimea Bay is a touchy subject.

Some North Shore commercial fishermen believe such a ban would discriminate against them. But those favoring the ban say pole and line fishing doesn't deplete the fish population as much as commercial fishing and would lead to better stocked fishing grounds in the future.

No consensus exists on how to manage conservation efforts, but no one opposes building up the fish population in waters off the North Shore.

Some 40 residents attended a public information meeting on proposed rule changes last night in the John Kalii Surf Center at Haleiwa Alii Beach Park.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources drafted the proposed rules based on recommendations by a community task force. Tentative plans are to extend the conservation district 100 yards seaward and far enough south to include Waimea Bay.

The conservation district now encompasses longtime favorite spots of fishermen and divers. It covers about 25 acres from a point beside Three Tables to Kulalua Point north of Shark's Cove.

Limu gathering, some net fishing, spearing without scuba gear and pole fishing are allowed. Passing through the district with scuba gear to take fish outside district boundaries is also permitted.

Alton Miyasaka, aquatic biologist with the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources, said limu picking would still be allowed everywhere under the plan.

Wayne Holu, a task force member representing native Hawaiians, said the task force never considered crab fishing.

James Yuu, a commercial fisherman who does some crabbing, said the proposed 100-yard extension seaward of the conservation district includes waters that have the best Kona crab populations.

Others noted that there are other Kona crab habitats in North Shore waters and crabbing could continue in those spots.

Carl Meyer, scientific task force representative, said the 100-yard extension farther out to sea is meant to protect reef fish.

It's difficult to selectively enforce a ban that allows some activities, such as crabbing, but not others, he said.

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