Fishermen Not Worried About Reports Of Empty Ocean

Leonard Kam
Leonard Kam

(KHNL) - There's plenty of fish in the sea.

That's the feeling by many in the local fishing industry, despite a report saying, there will be no fish around the world in 40-years.

"Everything is not wonderful in the world, but everything is not going to hell in a hand basket either," said longtime local fisherman Jim Cook.

Cook says the fish supply in Hawaii's waters are fine, because it's well-regulated by the National Marine Fisheries Council.

A recent report says that because of overfishing and the deteriorating habitat, the world will have no fish in the year 2048.

"If you go in and look at the auction floor today, it looks the same to me in the 35 years that i've been doing this," said Cook, about the action at the daily fish auction at the United Fishing Agency at Honolulu Harbor.

Fish markets aren't too concerned by the news.

"Poke is just one of the major staples for most of the people nowadays," said Leonard Kam, owner of Alicia's Market in Kalihi. "I go through 200 to 300 pounds a day."

Kam says he's not worried about supply, but feels the report has some merit.

"Now is the time even to think about it," said Kam. "Make people aware about it. That's good."

But Cook felt the report was "sensationalized," and there are lots of rules to maintain the fish supply in the Pacific. He says rules in international waters, like areas near Indonesia and the Philippines, aren't as strict.

"The thought that none of us are doing anything about it, the thought that we're out there like a bunch of pirates running around the ocean is totally wrong," said Cook.

If they were, we'd all have to find something else to eat.

"We can eat whale, whale poke," joked Kam.

The report studied data going back to the 1960s, and found marine life has declined dramatically. But researchers say preserving fishing areas will help save fish populations.