Lately locals have been noticing that Lanikai (Kaohao) has been getting hit hard by night spear fishermen who seemingly take every fish they can spear. Recently there were eight or so divers out for many nights in a row from Wailea Point to Flat Island, and the amount of fish they take is obscene.
Lanikai is unique in that it has a rather deep lagoon inside a fringing reef which protects the lagoon from waves. This combination keeps the water clean and makes it perfect for night divers in almost any condition which is why it is so often the target from people that come from all over the island to our neighborhood to spear fish at night. When a flashlight shines on a fish at night, the fish is blinded or often sleeping, making the spearing super easy. This is why night fishing is so devastating. These fish provide not only food for us and are a draw for tourists and locals to enjoy seeing on the reef, but they are also needed on the reef to keep the coral healthy. Coral reefs provide half the world’s oxygen and a third of its carbon absorption. Our reefs protect our islands against storms and are critical to the island ecosystem. The reef is the basis for sustaining life, both below the ocean’s surface and above. Our reefs have been in a constant struggle to survive, but without these grazing fish, algae is gaining a hold, and the reef is struggling to stay alive.
The Problem- These reef rapers are organized, smart and not afraid. Old time Kailua residents who grew up here fishing and diving have organized a grass roots coalition called Manu Iwa O Malanai (MIOM). We have been actively engaging with night divers for the last two and a half years asking them multiple times to be pono and only take what they need to eat, but they don't listen. They know DLNR won't show up to check for illegal size fish or see if they are compliant with the required equipment (buoy with flag and light on mast).
The Long Term Solution- MIOM is collecting data of all night diving activity and also observations of fish, or lack of fish. This data is important in that it provides the reason for a FMA (Fish Managed Area) in Lanikai which would make night spear fishing illegal. The DLNR up until now has not responded once to any of our requests to send an officer, mainly because they do not have officers on duty at night to take the complaint. That is why we all must be vigilant and collectively speak up and take kuleana for what has become an over fished, depleted coastal fishery that once was rich in abundance. We must contact our State representatives and other policy makers like the Department of Land and Natural Resources (contact info: 808-643-DLNR).
Please fill out this form if you see night spearfishing on our reef. https://forms.gle/QLaTAkyv73kmtCxA9
For more information please contact the webmaster at email@example.com
Sunscreen chemicals -
90 percent of sunscreen brands sold contribute to the bleaching and inevitable death of coral. Common sunscreen ingredients such as octinoxate and oxybenzone (a.k.a. benzophenone-3 and BP-3), have proven to be toxic to living coral. This toxicity occurs even at a concentration equivalent to about one drop of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool. It causes destructive mutations at a genetic level and higher concentrations of the chemical also directly correlate with increased instances of coral bleaching, when the symbiotic algae that give coral its color are killed off, leaving a white skeleton.
The Haereticus Environmental Laboratory (HEL) has created the HEL LIST, a list of chemicals that are known pollutants in many different environments (freshwater streams, river, beaches, and ocean systems) and to wildlife (such as corals, fish, birds, marine mammals, and sea turtles). Please don't use products that contain any of the following chemicals:
Oxybenzone, octinoxate, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, Octocrylene, Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), Methyl Paraben, Ethyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Butyl Paraben, Benzyl Paraben, Triclosan, plus any form of microplastic sphere or beads., and any nanoparticles.
Unfortunately, our wastewater treatment facilities do NOT eliminate chemicals in sunscreen from our wastewater or from being dumped into the ocean, so the best way to help our efforts to eliminate reef-toxic sunscreen from our marine environment is to:
1. Avoid being in the sun during the sunniest part of the day;
2. Wear protective clothing (hat, long sleeve shirt, rash guard) to minimize body areas that will need sunscreen;
3. Choose to use mineral sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide instead of chemical sunscreens; and
4. Choose mineral sunscreen that is broad spectrum (protects against both UVA and UVB), and is at least SPF30 (don’t really need more than that). Note: Spray sunscreens are NOT recommended by the Environmental Working Group, due to a risk of inhalation and difficulty ensuring an adequately thick and even layer on skin.
If you do use sunscreen, be sure to use it way in advance of entering the water so that it is absorbed properly by your skin.
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