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Monday, March 22, 2010

Remains of a camp fire at Poli Poli??

We happened across this scene on the road up to the Kula State Forest on our way up for a hike and sunset dinner. It was located midway between the Poli Poli frisbee golf area (lower edge of the tree line) and the hunting keosk. The boxes and beer cans were strewn about, and the ashes were still smoldering. On our way back down, it was obvious that someone had already taken the initiative to clean up, as the boxes were neatly stacked and the cans were picked up.
These photos were taken on Sunday 3/21/10 at Poli Poli. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Seen at Costco in Hawaii Kai, Oahu...

A Hawaii EcoTube fan shopping at Costco in Hawaii Kai, Oahu, noticed both Orange Roughy and Chilean Sea Bass side-by-side in the freezer section, and submitted the photos below. Both these species are listed as "AVOID" by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program.

Here is a link to the online form to submit comments and feedback to Costco.


Here is a link to Seafood Watch's page on Orange Roughy, which includes the following information:
 A deep-sea fish also known as the “slimehead,” orange roughy grows slowly and reproduces late in life. These traits make it especially vulnerable to overfishing. 
Consumer Note: Orange roughy lives 100 years or more—so the fillet in your freezer might be from a fish older than your grandmother!

Health Alert: Environmental Defense Fund has issued a health advisory for orange roughy due to high levels of mercury.

Summary: Years of heavy fishing have decimated orange roughy populations. Although there are fishery management plans in place, scientists predict it could take decades for populations to recover.

Another concern with orange roughy is the way it’s caught. Bottom trawls are problematic, causing damage to seafloor habitat, especially in the fragile, deep-sea ecosystems where orange roughy live. For these reasons, orange roughy are ranked as a species to “Avoid.” 

Here is a link to the page on the Chilean Sea Bass, a.k.a "Patagonian Toothfish" which includes the following:
Chilean seabass is severely overfished and is rated “Avoid.” In addition, most Chilean seabass in the U.S. market come from boats that are fishing illegally and using unmodified bottom longlines. This unmodified fishing gear hooks and drowns thousands of seabirds each year, most notably endangered albatross.
Health Alert: Environmental Defense Fund has issued a health advisory for Chilean seabass due to high levels of mercury.

Summary: Slow-growing fish that reproduce late in life, Chilean seabass are naturally vulnerable to overfishing. The fishing methods used to catch these deep water fish cause more problems: bottom trawling can damage seafloor habitat, and miles of baited longline gear can fatally hook and drown endangered albatross and other seabirds. Since Chilean seabass live in remote Antarctic waters, law enforcement is difficult and large numbers of boats fish these waters illegally, without proper permits or gear. As a result, most Chilean seabass is fished unsustainably and should be avoided.

However, a small fishery exists that has made improvements in their fishing gear - to reduce seabird bycatch, and in their management plan - to end overfishing. In March 2004, the South Georgia Patagonian Toothfish Longline Fishery was certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Since only a small portion of the Chilean seabass available in the U.S. is MSC certified, consumers must be very careful. Each location that sells MSC products, including all restaurants and grocery stores, are required to have the MSC "Chain of Custody" certification. Legitimate purveyors should be able to produce this document when asked and, without this proof, consumers should assume the fish in not certified and shouldn’t make the purchase. 

UPDATE 3/12/10: The Chilean Sea Bass was seen in the Maui Costco as well. The label did not show any type of certification logo. The text read: "To ensure the health of this precious resource, Orca Bay procures Sea Bass from certified harvesters adhering to a strictly managed quota system."