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Fish Farm Plans Anger Lanai Fishermen

US - Plans for a new aquaculture business in the open ocean off the island of Lanai, in the Hawaiian islands has come under fire from local fishermen.

The aquaculture venture was discussed at the Governor’s Lanai Community Advisory Council meeting last week.

A new aquaculture business wants to raise fish in open ocean off the leeward side of Lanai.

Maui Fresh Fish is proposing to lease approximately 100 acres of ocean a mile off the south shore of Lanai for the venture. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

But according to reports in the Star Bulletin, the local fishermen have opposed the scheme because it is in their main fishing grounds.

"We don't want it. It's our best fishing grounds." fisherman Allen Kaiaokamalie told the Star Bulletin.

The Maui Fresh Fish plan is for a hatchery for opakapaka on coastal land at Kahakuloa in north Maui and wants to transfer the stock to aquaculture pens off Lanai where they can grow to adult size.

Fishing for opakapaka, a popular fish that has become increasingly scarce, has been banned in Hawaiian waters for seven months starting in mid-April.

Ed Cichon, a co-founder and managing member of Maui Fresh Fish, said fishermen have been opposed to locating the aquaculture farm a half mile off the south shore of Lanai and his business has formed a working group to discuss their concerns and see if a site there or elsewhere can be found, the Star Bulletin reports.