Hawaii reefs in critical condition - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii reefs in critical condition

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - More than three-quarters of Hawaii's reef fish are in critical condition.

And our reefs are not doing much better.

One ecologist tells us reefs in Hawaii will never be the same. But, he also says it's not too late to keep them safe from more harm.

It's no secret Hawaii's reef ecosystems are in trouble, but ecologists say they're not beyond repair.

"I would say Hawaii is kind of in the middle of the road," Marine ecologist Eric Brown said. "We're seeing where we might end up if we're not careful, like in the Caribbean, but we also see targets for the future."

Ecologists gave a "State of the Coral Reef Ecosystems" presentation Wednesday. Their hope is to bring more awareness to this growing problem.

"Leave a lighter footprint and take only what you need on the reef," Fisheries ecologist Alan Friedlander said. "Try to develop strategies as individual people and as communities that are not only going to make reefs healthier tomorrow, but make it healthier for the next generation."

New Zealand visitor Roy MacDonald says this is a personal issue for him.

"I'm a recreational fisherman myself, so I'm vitally interested in what happens out there," he said. "I think all fishing nations surrounded by water, we have quota systems."

Ecologists say there are three reasons for the destruction of Hawaii's reefs. They are over-fishing, water pollution and climate change.

"If we can give corals enough time to climitize or even adapt like what they might see in some of the reefs in the South Pacific, there's a chance that reefs will come back," Brown said.

A sight MacDonald and others welcome with open arms.

"I think it's got to be a global effort and it's very difficult to change the way of the western world," he said.

A change in the way you do things may change the reefs you enjoy.

Officials say we can control both water pollution and over-fishing locally, but climate change may take wider effort.

Job Link 8 Featured Jobs
  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Saturday, April 29 2017 3:19 AM EDT2017-04-29 07:19:59 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 3:19 AM EDT2017-04-29 07:19:59 GMT

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>
  • N. Korean missile test fails hours after UN meeting on nukes

    N. Korean missile test fails hours after UN meeting on nukes

    Saturday, April 29 2017 2:49 AM EDT2017-04-29 06:49:57 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 2:53 AM EDT2017-04-29 06:53:34 GMT

    China's foreign ministry has refused to confirm or deny U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's assertion that Beijing has threatened to impose unilateral sanctions on North Korea if it conducts further nuclear tests.

    More >>

    China's foreign ministry has refused to confirm or deny U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's assertion that Beijing has threatened to impose unilateral sanctions on North Korea if it conducts further nuclear tests.

    More >>
  • Trump tells NRA: 'You have a true friend' in White House

    Trump tells NRA: 'You have a true friend' in White House

    Saturday, April 29 2017 2:44 AM EDT2017-04-29 06:44:31 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 2:44 AM EDT2017-04-29 06:44:31 GMT
    President Donald Trump to become the first sitting president to address a National Rifle Association convention in more than 30 years.More >>
    President Donald Trump to become the first sitting president to address a National Rifle Association convention in more than 30 years.More >>
Powered by Frankly