Hawaii aims for ag recovery following demise of pineapple and sugar

The amount of land used for agriculture in Hawaii has declined 68 percent since 1980, primarily because of the end of pineapple and sugar cultivation, said the Washington Post.

Groups debate fishing rules for Hawaiian national monument

The Honolulu-based Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is in the midst of a debate about changing the rules governing non-commercial fishing in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument since the monument’s size was quadrupled by the Obama administration.

EBay founder’s Hawaiian dairy dream gets blowback

Pierre Omidyar says he wants to build a dairy along the coast of Kauai to reduce Hawaii’s reliance on imported milk, but locals worry that runoff from such an operation, as well as the flies and odors it would bring, would hurt the island’s crucial tourism business, reports The New York Times.

Pesticide-disclosure bill resurrected in Hawaii

After three Hawaiian counties lost efforts to regulate GMOs and require pesticide disclosure on the local level, Democratic state Rep. Richard Creagan is proposing a change to a state bill that would require agribusinesses to reveal what kinds of pesticides they are using, where they are using them, and in what quantities.

The last shipment of Hawaiian sugar leaves Maui

Hawaii’s sugar workers are packing up the state’s final harvest and waving goodbye to an industry that was once king, says NPR. Mechanization in mills on the mainland, competition from Brazil, and rising labor costs have crippled Hawaiian sugar. Now only one mill remains, and when it shuts down at the end of the year, 675 workers will lose their jobs.

Seed companies win major case on Hawaiian GMOs

In a victory for Monsanto, Syngenta and other seed companies farming in Hawaii, a federal appeals court ruled that counties can’t regulate pesticide use or GMO crops, says Civil Beat. “The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded Friday that Hawaii state pesticide law is comprehensive, and that the Legislature intended it to be 'uniform and exclusive of additional, local rules.'”

Hawaii targets Monsanto and Terminix in pesticide investigations

With Syngenta already under investigation for the alleged misuse of pesticides in Hawaii, the EPA is now looking into Monsanto, Terminix, and Wonder Farm [a Hawaiian agricultural operation] for allegedly ignoring pesticide laws in Hawaii, says Civil Beat.

Big-eye tuna catch rising despite advocates’ warnings

Although Japan, South Korea, China, the United States and other countries agreed in 2013 to catch less big-eye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, U.S. long-line fishermen are raising their catch quotas through side agreements with Pacific island territories, says Civil Beat. Many …

First bees added to U.S. endangered species list

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has placed the first bees ever on the federal endangered species list, with the addition of seven Hawaiian species from the genus Hylaeus, says National Geographic. Yellow-faced bees are the only native bees to Hawaii and the sole pollinators of a beach shrub known as naupaka, known for having flowers that look like they’re missing half their petals.

Feds say conditions on Hawaiian ships aren’t as bad as AP reports

Federal investigators say they haven’t found much evidence to back up claims of labor abuse on Hawaiian fishing boats, reports Civil Beat. The officials started interviewing foreign workers after an Associated Press investigation revealed human trafficking, egregious pay and abusive working conditions for the Southeast Asian men who make up the majority of Hawaii’s fishing fleet crews.