Oftentimes, when conservationists and resource managers call for increased regulations, there is immediate pushback from whichever stakeholder group is being affected. Status quo requires the least amount of effort and short-term sacrifice in the face of the long-term benefits the science community attempts to describe.
However, when the impact of status quo is so unacceptable that a stakeholder group asks to be regulated, as is the case now with the fishing community, it's time to take action.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie, please do whatever is necessary to assist the state's resource management agency, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, in moving forward a rule package that was developed with extensive community support and involvement more than three years ago. This rule package includes bag limits and other essential changes to existing rules, such as increases in minimum size, based on life history and ecological factors.
Preservation is a much smarter strategy than restoration, which has its limits in a degraded system. There's a point of no return for marine resources and it's critical that we recognize that we're headed in that direction and take action to change course now.
Governor and DLNR Chairman William Aila, please listen to those forward-thinking individuals in the fishing community who are asking for help, and to all those from a diversity of stakeholder groups who will hopefully follow suit and add their voices to this call for action.