Stop Purse Seine Fishing

SOURCE: Lyn McNutt (
SUBHEAD: With proper management the local hook and line operations are a sustainable tuna fishery.

By Greg Holzman on 18 August 2014 in Island Breath -

Image above: Ecuadorian purse seine operation photographed by Alex Hofford. From (
Definition of modern purse seine fishing:
1) A large seine (cylindrical net), for use generally by two boats, that is drawn around a school of fish and then closed at the bottom by means of a line passing through rings attached along the lower edge of the net.
2) A technique of fishing that utilizes a purse seine to capture large schools of fish, especially tuna.
From (
It is my view that our tuna industry will be better off if they outlaw purse seining.

I think outlawing blue fin tuna (and possible restrictions on big eye tuna) is going to raise the price of yellow fin tuna. That may be good for some fishermen short term, but will hurt us long term with consumers unable to afford fish as prices soar and restrictions increase.

You just don't know the dynamics you throw in when you remove the most valuable fish in the Pacific ocean.  Hawaii Tuna consumption is 56,000 lbs a week in Hawaii.

That means much of Hawaii's tuna will be exported to Japan.

Nothing about any of this is good for small boat local fishermen. They produce a real trickle down economic engine. That economy feeds many families - from the icehouse operators, to the boat mechanics, to the wholesalers and of course the fishermen themselves.

This local industry is one of the few that export product and allow for injections of monies from around the globe. Purse seiners do not have the same effect when they take a fish worth $10 that in one year could be worth $500.

It is hard to support an industrial killing machine like these mechanized purse seine systems. They need to put a moratorium on making these ships and pull the 40 permits effected. We should leave the local hook and line fishermen to feed and provide jobs for the local people.

Not six guys per ship catching 98% of the baby tuna in the Western Pacific.

In conclusion I believe that everyone can win if the purse seiners are out and the local small boat fishermen are left to catch the valuable larger fish for the fresh markets.

The biggest threat to tuna populations is the industrial purse seine fishing fleet. Purse seiners cannot operate sustainably because the ships cost too much to make and maintain. The catch they need to cover costs makes their operations unsustainable.

Stop putting small boat fishermen in the same category as the purse seiners. With proper management the hook and line operations are a sustainable fishery.

• Greg Holzman is a local commercial fisherman who lives on Kauai's westside. He can be emailed at (

No comments :

Post a Comment