Unfortunately, over the last decade, the success of the Ni‘ihau community in perpetuating the health of their critical fishery resources has led to increasing fishing pressure by those from other islands. Visitors from outside the Ni‘ihau community are capable of traveling great distances in the pursuit of fish, and seek to exploit the abundant resources of Ni‘ihau for commercial or other purposes. Ni‘ihau residents have expressed ongoing and deepening concerns over the increasing impact of outside fishing interests and report declines in the abundance and accessibility of resources sustainably harvested and relied upon by Ni‘ihau residents for generations. The legislature finds that the unabated and growing disregard of the subsistence needs and traditional resource management practices of Ni‘ihau’s residents, in spite of ten years of informal requests for restraint, now calls for strong and decisive legislative action.
In November members of the Robinson family, which owns Niihau, a number of its residents and Hawaii senators held a press conference in Honolulu to raise awareness about the issue of overfishing.