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Wildcoast-USA News: 24 Apr 2014 at 12:43am
Latest headlines from WN Network

(Source: Amcor Limited) Amcor Community Program Launches Global community program helps foster sustainable communities 24 April, 2014:  Amcor today announced the launch of the Amcor Community Program to bolster the Company's already active participation in the communities in which it operates. As part of the Amcor Community Program we will continue...
24 April, 2014: Amcor Community Program Launches (Amcor Limited) 24 Apr 2014 at 1:30am

[IDS]As people prepare for the 8th International Community Based Adaptation conference in Kathmandu (24-30 April), Terry Cannon challenges some of the assumptions involved in our use of the term "community", suggesting that we must ditch the idea that it is fluffy, warm and cuddly and can cure all ills....
Problems of Community Based Adaptation and Community Based Disaster Risk Redu... 24 Apr 2014 at 1:05am


Maalaea Bay’s once-vibrant reefs suffer decline at an alarming rate By CHRISTIE WILSON, The Honolulu Advertiser

The best place to see vibrant coral reefs in Maalaea may be at the Maui Ocean Center. The popular aquarium displays an abundant range of marine life that no longer exists in the adjacent bay, which has experienced a total collapse of its underwater ecosystem in recent years, due largely to human impacts.


Coral coverage in the bay was estimated at 50 to 75 percent in 1993 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, similar to that found in the nearby Molokini Shoal Marine Life Conservation District. In 2006, a survey found only 8 percent coral coverage at Maalaea.

The alarming speed at which the marine landscape has deteriorated offers an important lesson in coral reef conservation, according to Russell Sparks, an education specialist with the state Division of Aquatic Resources.

"When these reefs degrade, when they go off the edge, it happens very quickly," Sparks said. "When we see signs of it, we need to be willing to make changes, sometimes major changes, and do it very quickly."


The causes of coral reef decline at Maalaea are complex, but severe overgrowth of invasive algae is one indication the ecosystem's natural balance is seriously out of whack, he said.

"We're not sure if it's the cause of the reef degradation or just the symptom. When you have a healthy reef, there's no place for that algae to grow," he said.

Shallow reefs in Maalaea and neighboring Kihei are almost totally overgrown with Acanthophora spicifera (spiny seaweed), Ulva spp. (sea lettuce) and reddish or brownish Hypnea musciformis (hookweed), which can double its biomass in just two days. Growth rates of the limu in South Maui are among

the highest anywhere in the world.

The economic impact of the Kihei seaweed invasion has been estimated at $20 million annually from lost hotel revenue, reduced property values and removal costs.

The ecological impact is incalculable.

"Algae is a natural part of the reef, but what happens when it's growing out of control is that it smothers some of the corals and acts as an irritant," Sparks said. "Healthy corals are not going to be affected by algae, but when you have everything else stressing out the ecosystem, it can become a big problem."

University of Hawaii studies have found a correlation between severe algal growths and coastal areas with high human population densities. There also is evidence that concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are highly elevated in nearshore areas where algal blooms are found. These nutrients, from fertilizers and wastewater, are believed to accelerate seaweed growth.

Maalaea Bay is in close proximity to vast agricultural fields and golf courses, which are sources of fertilizer runoff, and the area's extensive coastal development is served by injection wells that discharge treated sewage into the ocean.

"Maalaea is in a wetland coastal area where you have groundwater and surface water funneling down there from the entire Central Maui isthmus," Sparks said.

Unmonitored grading of a major commercial development in Maalaea in the late 1990s resulted in tons of sediment being deposited into the bay, further stressing the reefs, and piles of rotting seaweed encourage bacteria hostile to corals.

As a result of these multiple impacts, Sparks said, Maalaea Bay has changed from "a dynamic, actively growing coral reef ecosystem" into eroding and relatively flat areas that don't provide structurally complex habitat for the herbivorous fish that can keep algae growth in check. Instead, the fish stocks are in poor condition, dominated by small wrasses, triggerfish and puffers.

It may be too late for Maalaea's reefs to recover, but the state Department of Land and Natural Resources took action this year to prevent the same kind of swift decline off north Kaanapali, which also suffers from algal blooms.

The newly created Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area bans removal of rudderfish (nenue), parrotfish (uhu), surgeonfish and sea urchins, all important limu-grazers.



Featured Coastline: ENGLAND

Past news: WASHINGTON - President Bush created the world's largest marine protected area — a group of remote Hawaiian islands that cover 84 million acres and are home to 7,000 species of birds, fish and marine mammals, at least a quarter of which are unique to Hawaii.

At a White House ceremony, the president designated the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands the United States’ 75th national monument. The islands have been described as “America’s Galapagos” and as the most intact tropical marine region under U.S. jurisdiction.

“To put this area in context, this national monument is more than 100 times larger than Yosemite National Park,” Bush said. “It’s larger than 46 of our 50 states, and more than seven times larger than all our national marine sanctuaries combined. This is a big deal.”     Bush continued:




WAILUKU — State land and natural resources officials on Maui are already discovering problems with the new lay gill net rules and regulations, The Maui News reported.

They restrict lay gill net fishing around Maui and apply new rules to fishermen on Molokai and Lanai.

    Help Keep it Clean

"What we are finding to be problematic is that many within the public currently believe the (lay net) gear is restricted, period," said Randy Awo, Maui branch chief of enforcement for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

But lay nets can still be possessed by fisherman who are doing surround net fishing, Awo said.

It's the lay net practice that is prohibited, he added. more...

• New lay net rules in effect statewide

Gov. Lingle has approved amendments to HAR Chap 13-75, restricting the use of lay nets and prohibiting their use in certain waters. The new rules are now in effect. Included are requirements for lay net registration, limits on dimensions and soak times, requirements for attendance and inspection, and prohibitions on use in streams and stream mouths. Lay net use is also prohibited around the entire island of Maui, and in certain waters off Oahu, including Kaneohe and Kailua Bays, and the south shore between Koko Head and Pearl Harbor. More details can be found by downloading the following pdf files:

HAR 13-75: Rules regulating the possession and use of certain fishing gear (3 MB):


Lay net rule summary sheet (84 KB) : http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/pubs/laynetsumm.pdf

News release links:
New Rules For Lay Gill Nets In Effect: http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/chair/pio/HtmlNR/07-N024.htm

DLNR Announces Procedure For Lay Net Fishers To Register Their Nets:


Gill Net ban progresses in Maui, part of Oahu

Cousteau to plan a 434 acre complex in Ha'u Hawaii with Sea Mountain 5.  The project will include a marine conservation program and Hawaiian cultural center. More     Monk Seal caught in gil net

President Bush signs: Establishment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument

Seaside snorkel area - great for exploring and relaxation - Wailea, Maui

Green sea turtles abound - view the vast sea life at Wailea, Maui, Hawaii - accommodations right on the sand and by the reefs. Polo Beach Club.
7/26/2006 3:30:00 PM [A Plus Resorts- Information]
Release from:   Maui News

Little Hope For Reef Fish  2/2

The good news is that most everyone is ready to admit that Maui's inshore fisheries need regulations and protection. The bad news is that nearly everyone involved thinks it is "the other guy" who needs to be regulated.

Hawaii is the only state in the nation that allows the use of lay nets, also known as gill nets, on inshore reefs. In 1998, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources set up at Gill Net Task Force. Some of the task force recommendations were written into regulations which were given a round of public hearings in 2002. During the course of collecting public testimony for lay net regulations, it became apparent that the DLNR should consider a ban on the nets. That required a new round of public meetings which are now being conducted.

The DLNR's Division of Aquatic Resources held one of those sessions last week in Kahului. Nearly everyone agreed there were fewer fish in the waters around Maui. Most said they weren't to blame because they only took what they needed. They didn't specify if what they needed was for food for the family or cash to pay for the boats, motors, fuel and monofilament nets.

That same argument has stalled effective marine life conservation despite decades of anecdotal and scientific evidence the islands' inshore reefs are being turned into coral deserts. As usual, the latest meeting heard plenty of testimony that the real culprits ranged from windsurfers to developers who allowed reef-smothering runoff.

The suggestion that a konohiki (manager) be named for each ahupuaa (a sea-to-mountain-top land division) to decide how much and what kind of fishing the ocean could handle at any given time was greeted warmly and might be cause for the DLNR to set off in yet a new direction, requiring another two years or so of analysis, rule writing and hearings. Besides, the old maps show Maui alone had more than 60 ahupuaa.

The DLNR's administrative rules allow it to establish temporary fishing bans on individual reefs at any time, allowing fish populations to be replenished naturally. It worked off Waikiki's Kuhio Beach, but in Maui waters it would require more enforcement than the state has been willing to fund in the past.

Meanwhile, the reef fish disappear, and no one seems willing to do what needs to be done to save them.

New law prohibits taking of female lobsters and crabs

On May 4 Gov. Lingle signed into law Act 77, which prohibits the taking or killing of female ula (spiny lobsters), Kona crabs, and Samoan crabs. The law took effect the same day. Closed season for spiny lobsters and Kona crabs continues through the end of August, but there is no closed season for Samoan crabs. For information on how to tell the difference between males and females of these species, http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/fish_regs/mvf.htm.


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Map of marine managed areas in the Hawaiian Islands 

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Important News

High-Seas Ban on Destructive Fishing

Lay Net (Gillnet) Management In Hawaii


Background - Lay Net Management by DLNR

The Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has been working on improving management of lay nets for some time. The following chronology illustrates some of the key historical events.

  • 1977 - Maximum soak time limited to 12 hours, previously no limit. Minimum mesh size is 2"

  • 1992 - Report on lay net management in response to HCR 401 HD1 recommends mesh size increase and soak time reduction

  • 1993 - Soak time limited to 4 hours with required inspection at 2 hours

  • 1994 - 2" minimum mesh size increased to 2 3/4"; to take effect 12/31/96

  • 1998-99 - Gill Net Task Force meets and recommends lay net regulations

  • 2000-02 - Draft regulations developed from recommendations and reviewed internally

  • 2002 - State wide public meetings on proposed lay net management regulations

The Proposal For Discussion


There shall be a statewide ban on the use of lay nets. This pertains to commercial, recreational and subsistence lay net uses. This ban does not apply to throw nets, cast nets, fence/bag nets, aquarium nets, lobster nets, opelu or akule nets; nor does it apply to lobster traps or fish traps.


Exemptions to lay net prohibition for certain limited geographic areas may be considered and must be approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources. Exemptions will be based on the condition of the resources in the area to be considered for exemption.


If certain limited geographic areas are exempted from the statewide lay net ban, then the following lay net use, size and other restrictions must be adhered to. The following restrictions apply to all individuals and user groups.

  • Lay net use must be a part of active fishing with continuous attendance and monitoring (i.e. net is not to be set, abandoned and then fisher returns and retrieves.)

  • Lay nets are to be attended and monitored at all times (i.e. someone must always be within 50 feet of the lay net and monitoring the net.)

  • In the event a threatened and/or endangered species (i.e. turtle, dolphin, seal, etc.,) and/or unintended bycatch (i.e. other fish, bird, etc.) are caught in the lay net, the fisher shall immediately remove the animal from the lay net. The fisherman shall follow appropriate state and federal handling and release guidelines if it is a threatened or endangered species.

  • Lay nets must be individually registered by the owner and tagged. Identification tags shall be attached at both ends of the net, one on the floatline and one on the leadline, for a total of four identification tags. Identification tags will be marked with a unique serial number identifying each net.

  • Marker buoys, visible on the water surface, shall be attached to each end of the net, for a total of two buoys. The identification tag number will be permanently marked on each buoy.

  • A person may fish with only one lay net per day and may only use (set) the net once per day.

  • When the lay net is in use, set and fishing, the registered owner must at all times be present and fishing with that net.

  • Lay nets shall be no longer than 250 feet and no higher than 6 feet. No joining of individual nets if two or more fishers work together.

  • Lay net mesh shall be no less than 2.75 inches, stretched.

  • Lay nets must be spaced no less than 500-feet from each other.

  • Lay net "soak time" shall be a maximum of 4-hours.

  • The lay net may only be in the water, set and fishing between the hours of one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

  • Lay nets that do not meet these requirements are subject to confiscation by the Department and the owner and user cited for violation of the administrative rule.

  • The Department shall consider any lay net on or about the water that is not registered and does not have proper identification tags contraband and subject to immediate seizure.


Other Areas:

Dubai News:The 27 km breakwater

27km Dubai breakwater

"Eco-friendly preservation" to be explored.

Nakheel, Dubai’s biggest developer, today laid the final stone on the breakwater for The World, its 300 artificial island scheme.

The completion of the massive 27km breakwater, which will guard 320m cubic metres of reclaimed sand, paves the way for the scheme to be handed over to developers for construction and the building of its surrounding infrastructure.

Dubai World Africa established the brand, Dubai World Conservation Africa, an eco friendly entity responsible for the investment in, preservation and responsible development of game reserves, wildlife conservation and eco tourism in Africa.

Dubai World is firmly committed to make every country and community in which it operates a better place to live and work, knowing that the ongoing vitality of our host nation and local communities has a direct impact on the long term health of our business.

Dubai World Africa investments Dubai World Africa Services (Pty) Ltd is a subsidiary of the holding company, Dubai World and shares a common vision, mission and value system. Dubai World Africa is responsible for the acquisition and development of assets in Africa and the Indian Ocean region.

Dubai World Africa has assets in South Africa - Victoria and Alfred Waterfront as well as Pearl Valley Golf Estate. In Rwanda - Nyungwe Forest, Akagera National Park, Gorilla's Nest Lodge ; in Djibouti - Djibouti Palace Kempinski; in Mozambique - Bilene Beach Resort and Golf Course, in the Comoros - Comoros Kempinski Beach Resort and Residences, In Zanzibar - One and Only Zanzibar and One and Only Mazagan Resort in Morocco.

Related: Dubai Apartments - Dubai Apartments and vacation rental listings make it easy to find your Dubai apartments and self catering Dubai furnished apartments of your choice near Dubai beaches. Perfect for exploration of Dubai beach areas and relaxation.

Dubai area             Dubai


Dubai Hotels rates include local taxes and service charges with on line instant booking confirmation


Shark information

About Lay Nets (Gilnets)
Wild-Coast-USA is dedicated to the preservation of endangered species and threatened coastal wildlands of the Californias. Through community-based conservation, we are working to eliminate threats to ecosystems, and to develop reserves to protect them into the future.


Rules would save reef life

Time is running out on a chance to influence the future health of Maui’s reefs and inshore stocks of fishes.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has finished its round of public hearings on new regulations for the use of lay gill nets, also known as moe moe and set nets, but is still taking testimony and counting those for and against the regulations.
Of major concern to Mauians is a provision in the new regulations that would ban the use of what are accurately called “curtains of death” around the island of Maui and three locations off Oahu.
  read more... Click here for other news stories

FILE - In this Dec. 2005 file photo provided by the National Park Service shows National Park Service fisheries biologist Jeff Miller examining the coral reef in the Buck Island Reef National Monument in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, after bleaching from record hot water followed by disease has killed ancient and delicate Caribbean coral.According to coral experts like Roberto Iglesias the so-far elusive goal of world climate talks at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, limiting global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 F), is too little too late. Coral reefs, which are like underwater jungles that host 25 percent of marine species, have been weakened by water pollution and overfishing, leaving them vulnerable to a warming ocean that "bleaches" and kills corals. (AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey, Caroline Rogers, File)

(AP) — The once-vibrant coral reef shielding these sun-soaked beaches from the wrath of the sea is withering away under the stress of pollution and warmer water.

It's not likely to get much help from world governments meeting in Cancun for talks on a new climate pact. Their so-far elusive goal to limit global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 F) is too little too late, says coral expert Roberto Iglesias.

"That represents the end of the coral reefs in the world," says the Mexican scientist, who works at a marine research station in Puerto Morelos, 12 miles (about 20 kilometers) south of the beach resort hosting the annual U.N. climate conference.

Coral reefs are like underwater jungles that host 25 percent of marine species and provide food and income to hundreds of millions of people, mostly in the developing world. They also serve as shock absorbers to storm surges whipped up by hurricanes.

But many reefs, including the one off this hotel-packed coastline, have been damaged by water pollution and overfishing, leaving them vulnerable to a warming ocean that "bleaches" corals and sometimes kills them, Iglesias said.

This year, preliminary reports show global coral bleaching reached its worst level since 1998, when 16 percent of the world's reefs were killed off, said Mark Eakin, a coral reef specialist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"Clearly, we are on track for this to be the second worst (bleaching) on record," he said. "All we're waiting on now is the body count."

The 700-mile (1,100-kilometer) Mesoamerican reef that runs along Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula — suffering under other stresses — was spared the bleaching this year, but other parts of the Caribbean were hit hard, including Tobago, Curacao, Panama and islands north of Venezuela.

Some of the biggest impacts were in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia's Aceh province, surveys showed some 80 percent of the bleached corals died. In July, Malaysia closed several popular dive sites after virtually all the corals in those areas were damaged by bleaching.

Bleaching occurs when warmer temperatures disturb the symbiotic relationship between the corals and tiny algae that live inside them. When the algae are spit out, rainbow-colored reefs are turned into pale and lifeless skeletons — a "hideous" sight for veteran scuba divers like 52-year-old Eakin.

"You can't imagine what it's like to jump in the water and expect beautiful vibrant colors and all the corals are white," he said.

One or 2 degrees C (1.8-3.6 degrees F) above normal can be enough to cause bleaching. Corals may recover if the water cools and the algae return, but they're still significantly weaker and more vulnerable to disease. If the warmer temperatures persist, the corals die.

Bleaching occurs due to natural variability; both the 1998 and 2010 events were linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon. But the gradual rise of ocean temperatures means "it doesn't take much to push them over the edge," Eakin said.

The World Meteorological Organization says most tropical waters already have seen surface temperatures rise by up to 0.5 C (1 F) in the past 50 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N. climate-science network, projects an increasing frequency of bleaching episodes that "is very likely to further reduce both coral cover and diversity on reefs over the next few decades."

Many reefs have already been degraded by disease and the impact of human activities, including discharges of fertilizers and waste as well as overfishing of parrotfish and other species that help keep the corals clean and healthy.

The global area covered by coral reefs has shrunk by 20 percent since 1950 and another 35 percent could disappear in the next 40 years, even without the impact of climate change, according to a report released in October by the World Meteorological Organization and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Off the Riviera Maya coast south of Cancun, where large swaths of mangrove forests have been cut down to make room for an endless row of beachfront resorts, only 15 percent of the coral reefs are alive, down from about 45 percent in 1995, said Fernando Secaira, who coordinates a Mesoamerican Reef program for the U.S.-based environmental group Nature Conservancy.

The biggest problem, he said, is the rapid development, with tens of thousands of hotel rooms added only in the past decade. Fertilizers from lawns and golf courses and sewage from the developments filters through the limestone rock and is washed out onto the reef by underground rivers, altering the balance of the sensitive ecosystem.

Secaira said such unhealthy reefs will find it difficult to adjust to warming waters, raising the risk they will be destroyed by bleaching or diseases. The priority for conservationists is identifying the most resilient reefs, and protecting them as climate change sets in with full force, raising temperatures and acidifying the ocean, which limits the carbonate minerals that help corals grow.

Scientists say no emissions cuts being considered by world governments will suffice to prevent that from happening.

"We're going to lose more corals and more reefs before this is all over," said Eakin, of NOAA. "The question at this point is how many can we save."




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