Coucil aide Kristen Konan. I know my lively hood is not at stake here but don't get me wrong.Just hear me out.
We here love fish and sometimes our little hobby is what that is feeding your trade.Each and every time the government gives a ban on something, there are some that will go against it meaning ( poaching ).Poaching is never good and the ones that do this do it in a discrete manor as not to get caught.More then often that means they will use poison especially cyanide and that kills off any smaller fish and the reef it's self .This will destroy your coral gardens and slowly but surely deteriorate the health in nearby atolls as the reef start dying in certain areas and they ( the poachers ) shift from one atoll to another till there is not one reef left in your native Hawaii.It is very disturbing for me to read this.
They are banning the the collection of wild fish for a reason.My guess is that the reef is slowly deteriorating as too many fish are being removed in either a proper or non proper way ( meaning cyanide, the local poison weed, harsh collection technique or removing a large number of juveniles )
My stand would be
1) To go against the ban but gazette a certain area,size and species list that are and aren't supposed to be collected and get the people to follow it.( will also curb poaching to an extent)
2 ) Educate the people.Let them know they pay a big role in keeping the reef healthy for their lively hoods and the lively hood of others
3 ) Strengthen the bond between the association and the people ( meaning dump the people that are doing it for cash and leave the job to someone that actually cares )
4 ) Study better techniques of reef fish catching that gives minimal impact of the reefs.Get the people that are in the industry to do this together with the local government or by themselves
5 ) Have a record of what's been done as proof you are trying to rectify the problem and the government or non NGO bodies like WWF won't mind giving you a hand
*Use this as an example.Tell the people to the story of the a place where the fish were close to extinction and the fisherman lively hood was nearly grounded to a halt due to over fishing.Then the government made a treaty with the people to gazette a certain area as a marine park.The people agreed and after sometime being given to the fish population to stabilize the fisherman fishing outside of the marine park are now enjoying larger and better catches.A far cry from what they were catching a few years back.( true story btw )
*People destroy nature and giving nature some time to heal is both beneficial for both.
P/s : I hope the best for Hawaii and I hope everything works out well.
One people,One nation,
United we stand,Divided we fall.
Tell the people of Hawaii to remember that.
Melissa Anne Cornelius