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Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Opponents jam
meeting on proposed
akule limits

By Harold Morse

Proposed bag limits of 10 akule for recreational fishermen at Haleiwa Harbor and Waianae Small Boat Harbor got a cool reception last night at an informational meeting on proposed regulations.

By a show of hands, most of the 50 people present in the boardroom of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources opposed such a limit.

Biologists JoAnne Kushima and Alton Miyasaka discussed an 18-page draft of a proposed statewide management plan. Most in the standing-room-only audience were recreational fishing enthusiasts.

Kushima said the idea is to find some common ground so people can fish for akule in a nice, friendly, neighborly manner and that it would be best if this could be worked out without involving the state. Biologists do not like to make regulations, she said.

"It appears that the (akule) resource is not in a state where we would have to impose a moratorium," she added.

The state is trying to to come up with a balanced approach to share akule resources among different fishing groups. State suggestions came about after more than two years of meetings with a variety of fishing interests. Another meeting is set for 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Alii Surf Center next to Haleiwa Harbor in Haleiwa.

Another idea for helping preserve the akule available in Haleiwa and Waianae harbors was more popular with yesterday's crowd: no "saving of space." That is when someone fishing at one location "holds his space" on a pier by leaving a fishing bucket, interfering with someone else who wants to fish there.

But those present prefer this be more a matter of courtesy, rather than enforcement.

One location might be a "hot spot" for landing fish for a while and then not, as schools of fish move, said recreational fisherwoman Tracy Kubota of Mililani.

"People will go where the fish are," she said.

Drafts of the copy were made available. Miyasaka said it might take nine to 12 months to produce a final set of rules.

Comments will be received until Jan. 31, by writing: ATTN: Alton Miyasaka, JoAnne Kushima, Division of Aquatic Resources, 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 330, Honolulu, HI 96813.

Information about the proposed rules is available at

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