Hawaii Fishermen Oppose Pink Snapper Farm


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
June 29, 2008

Fishermen in Lanai, Hawaii, are opposing Maui Fresh Fish's plans to raise opakapaka in open-ocean pens off the leeward side of Lanai because it interferes with their main fishing area.

The Wailuku, Hawaii-based company announced it is developing an opakapaka, or pink snapper, hatchery on the north Maui coast and wants to transfer the stock to aquaculture pens off Lanai. The company says it has formed a working group to discuss fishermen's concerns and see if a site can be found there or elsewhere. .

"We want to work with them," Ed Cichon, Maui Fresh Fish co-founder, told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, adding that the company is holding public meetings as part of its development of an environmental assessment. "We don't want to appear to be one of those companies that tell people what to do. ... We feel we can do a lot of good for the people of Hawaii and for the people of Lanai."

The company plans to lease about 80.5 acres of ocean area and raise opakapaka in 7,000-cubic-meter sphere-shaped pens about 30 feet below the surface. The site would be located in humpback whale sanctuary waters.

Fishing for opakapaka in Hawaii was banned for seven months in mid-April.

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