“The ocean should not be privatized for personal gain…” Kale Gumapac

More then a year ago I posted an interview with Bill Spencer from Hawaii Ocean Technologies on their plans for fish farms in Hawaii: “New Fish Farming Operation: Hawaiian Oceanic Technologies on Kona Side


Just noticed the following from MeatTradeNewsDaily.com:

…Friday morning, the BLNR  would hear heard a request to permit a third facility, Hawaii Oceanic Technology’s (HOT) ambitious, high-tech plan to raise 6,000 tons of ahi (skipjack and bigeye tuna) in 12 untethered, submerged Oceanspheres three miles off the Big Island’s Kohala Coast. The projected output is four times the amount of ahi consumed yearly in all of Hawaii. HOT expects 90 percent of its finished product to be flown to markets in Japan and the Mainland…

…Kale Gumapac related his experience restoring a Big Island fishpond built by family member David Malo. “The technological understanding handed down from our kupuna is amazing,” said Gumapac. He said kaku (barracuda) were placed in the pond to discourage theft and to cull out diseased fish. Honu (turtles) were placed in the pond to eat one kind of limu (seaweed) and to fertilize another variety that the fish ate. “But they have not sought our advice on aquaculture,” Gumapac said. “Whose technology should we be using?”

Gumapac also produced a 1904 U.S. Supreme Court decision written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, stating that Native Hawaiians have vested fishing rights. The ocean should not be privatized for personal gain, said Gumapac. “These vested rights still exist today.

In written testimony to the BLNR, UH professor Dr. Neil Frazer stated: “Among scientists that do not have financial ties to aquaculture there is now general agreement that a sea-cage is a pathogen culture facility and that wild fish have declined everywhere industrial sea-cage farming has taken hold. The epidemiological reasons for this are clear: fish in cages are protected from the macro-predators needed for disease control, but not from pathogens.

The important difference between sea cage culture and terrestrial animal culture is that, in the ocean, animal wastes and pathogens can travel for many miles to infect other animals, whereas on land wastes fall to the ground

Full Article:  “United States – Fish Farming in Hawaii

3 Responses

  1. I do not want to partake in any mudslinging, but feel the need to respond to accusations against my organization, Food & Water Watch.

    Rob Parsons is on contract with Food & Water Watch as an outreach coordinator. Kale Gumapac and the Kanaka Council have worked as allies, but he is in not a representative of Food & Water Watch. Parsons affiliation with our organization is public knowledge.

    Quote: “Food and Water Watch, a group that spends hundreds of thousands of dollars attacing aquaculture and perpetuating lies.”….

    Food & Water Watch does not attack aquaculture wholesale. We raise important concerns regarding the production of seafood as well as access to essential public resources – like our oceans. We do extensive research and can substantiate the facts provided in our reports. For anyone questioning this, we would be happy to clarify any questions regarding the veracity of facts in the materials we produce and public comments submitted – you may call us at 202 683 2495 from 9-5 EST during normal business days. We also work with a group of scientists and practitioners exploring land-based recirculating aquaculture systems which we believe may be a more sustainable form of aquaculture. Visit http://foodandwaterwatch.org/fish/asa for more information.

    I am quite thankful that Damon’s blog is willing to present both sides of an issue and allow space for multiple voices. The announcement that the project has the greenlight was made prematurely. It is unfortunate that the AP story failed to mention the two contested case filed in BLNR again the Hawaii Oceanic Technology, Inc. project. It is important that both state agencies and private companies be held accountable to stakeholders and the rule of law.

  2. Damon, you should know how absurd these comments are. Parsons and Gumapac represent Food and Water Watch, a group that spends hundreds of thousands of dollars attacing aquaculture and perpetuating lies. The notion that companies should not “privatize the ocean” is patently absurd. What about cruise ships, recreational fishing, transportation of goods, depleting our oceans of seafood.

    One of the most persistent myths about aquaculture perpetuated by people like Parsons and Frazier is that fish farming is less efficient than traditional fishing. Here is a summary from an excellent aritcle about why aquaculture is more sustainable than the current hunter gathering practices of the seafood industry. “Pelleted diets have a nutritional profile designed for a given species. Cultured fish do not spend energy hunting for food. Feed pellets are bite-sized to minimize waste in feeding. Fish production increases exponentially when high order consumers (tuna) are farmed using lower level baitfish. The fact is that the judicious use of baitfish in farmed fish feeds is a far more sustainable way to produce seafood than the harvest of high-value marine fish from already declining fisheries. Bycatch and non-target fish that are thrown over the side dead or dying and the practice of high-grading, discarding smaller individuals of the target species so that the boat can return with only the largest, most valuable fish raise the cost of fishing to 1 million tons of fish discarded for every 3.7 million tons produced.” – Seafood for the Future

    • Mr. Spencer,

      Very rarely will you see direct opinions from me on my blog. I merely pass on information that I find interesting at times that has to do with Hawaii.

      Please do not consider anything I post necessarily my opinion. I think I made it fairly apparent that I had no opinion in the matter and even linked to your original interview more then a year ago to attempt to give some balance.

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