|Yessah Fishing documents drone fishing from South Point in Ka'ū. Image from Yessah Fishing|
HAWAIʻI COULD BECOME ONE OF THE FEW STATES TO OUTLAW DRONE FISHING. Fishers who come to South Point in Kaʻū and those who live here are awaiting Gov. David Ige's decision to sign, not sign or veto the 2022 Hawaiʻi Legislature's SB 2065 bill to ban fishing with the use of drones. The penalty for breaking the fishing drone ban would be a fine of up to $10,000 and a year in jail.
Drones are popular for locating fish and for carrying bait, hook and line out to sea and dropping them close to the prey, but opponents say that fishing line and equipment can be lost, can endanger wildlife, including turtles and monk seals, and that Hawaiian waters are already overfished. Supporters say fishing drones improve accuracy and save fuel and pollution from boaters driving around looking for fish. They also say less fishing tackle is likely to be lost at sea. The law is written to allow the use of drones to find fish but prohibits the drones from carrying the fishing line and bait. Use of drones, even for looking for fish, would require a license from the state Department of Land & Natural Resources.
The drone fishing ban was passed in the last few days of the 2022 Hawaiʻi Legislature. If the governor signs the bill by July 12, it becomes law. It he neither signs nor vetoes it by July 12, it becomes law without the governor's signature. If the governor intends to veto the bill, he must notify the Legislature by June 27 and deliver the veto by July 12. It the governor vetoes the bill, the Legislature can override the veto with a special session and a two-thirds vote in the Senate and House. Another state with a drone fishing ban is North Carolina.
|SwellPro promotes the saving of fuel and lessening|
of pollution by using drones. Photo from SwellPro
|Fish Aggregating Devices will be modernized with a funding bill signed last week by the governor.|
Images from state Department of Land & Natural Resources
LONGER-LASTING FISH AGGREGATING DEVICES ARE THE FOCUS OF NEW FUNDING. Gov. David Ige signed state Senate Bill 2767 last week, providing $350,000 to the state program for updating FAD equipment.
From the waters off Miloliʻi, around South Point to the waters below Volcano, Fish Aggregation Devices are deployed. The buoys last for a couple of years, start to fail or go missing and have a replacement cost of about $12,000. Last October the FAD named TT was redeployed off Kaneaʻa Point, 4.6 miles out to sea from Miloliʻi and 6.3 miles from Kauna Point. The FAD named C was also redeployed farther north, 13.2 miles from Miloliʻi, 4.6 miles from Loa Point and 6 miles from Kealakekua Bay.
Off Punalu'u is the FAD named SS. It is 9.5 miles from Apua Point and 15.5 miles from Punaluʻu. It was redeployed in the summer of 2020. Also brought back to life in August 2020 was RN, the FAD 17.7 miles from Apua Point and 7 miles from Ninole Cove.
FADs attract fish to aggregate around the floating buoys. Young fish and smaller adult fish use FADs for refuge, which attracts ahi and other larger fish. With all the fish gathering around the buoys, FADs also attract fishermen.
So far this year, there have been 479 DUI arrests compared with 542 during the same period last year, a
To date, there were 14 fatal crashes (one fatal crash reclassified on 5/30/22 due to a medical condition) resulting in 16 fatalities (one of which had multiple deaths, and one of which was reclassified due to a medical condition), compared with 11 fatal crashes, resulting in 11 fatalities for the same time last year. This represents is an increase of 27.3 percent for fatal crashes, and 45.5 percent for fatalities.
Police promise that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.