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Hawaii lawmakers kill bill to limit fishing nets

  • COURTESY U.S. COAST GUARDA distressed sea turtle struggles to set itself free from a fishing net as the crewmembers aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Walnut pull close to perform a wildlife disentanglement.
    COURTESY U.S. COAST GUARD
    A distressed sea turtle struggles to set itself free from a fishing net as the crewmembers aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Walnut pull close to perform a wildlife disentanglement.

Hawaii fishermen organized successfully to kill a bill that would have limited the type of nets they use to fish.

Fishermen crowded a Senate hearing this afternoon to protest a proposal to end the use of synthetic gill nets.

Many cited the importance of fishing to their livelihood and the significance of the practice to Native Hawaiian culture.

The Sierra Club, the Conservation Council of Hawaii and several other environmental groups testified in favor of the initiative.

Environmental advocates say the nets pose a risk to monk seals and other ocean wildlife.

Sen. Mike Gabbard, who co-sponsored the bill, said the committee decided to kill the bill because the opposition was overwhelming. 

Gabbard said nearly 200 people opposed the bill.

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