Aquatic Resources

Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Crabtree ruled today that, based upon a Hawaiʻi Supreme Court opinion issued on September 6, 2017, existing permits for use of fine mesh nets to catch aquatic life for aquarium purposes are illegal and invalid. Judge Crabtree also ordered the DLNR not to issue any new permits pending environmental review.

In response to today’s filing of a petition for a writ of mandamus with the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court by the plaintiffs in Umberger v. DLNR, the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources provides the following statement

The mediated settlement, approved by the Hawai‘i State Water Commission in April, to immediately restore continuous flows in West Kaua‘i’s Waimea River, is the subject of a video mini-documentary produced by the DLNR.

Want to better understand the Hā‘ena Community-Based Subsistence Fishery Area (CBSFA) and rules, and how Department of Land and Natural Resources and Hui Maka‘āinana o Makana are working towards co-management? Come down and join us for a fun-filled afternoon on Sunday, October 22 from 12 to 3 p.m. at Camp Naue YMCA, 7420 Kūhiō Highway in Hā‘ena.

The recent project aimed at eradicating invasive rats from the State of Hawai‘i’s Seabird Sanctuary on Lehua Island is the subject of a half-hour long TV documentary that chronicles the operation from beginning to end. Scheduled for broadcast on KFVE-TV (K5) on Saturday, Oct. 21st and Sunday, Oct. 22nd at 9:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. respectively, the program was produced by DLNR with support from the Lehua Island Restoration Steering Committee; the group of government agencies, non-profit and community organizations, and other supporters involved in the eradication of rats.

This morning NOAA Fisheries, the U.S Coast Guard, Kauai County Fire and Police Departments and the DLNR Divisions of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) joined concerned community members and native Hawaiian cultural practitioners to respond to a beaching event and attending to two Pilot whales that died on Kalapaki Beach on the north side of Nawiliwili Harbor.

Early morning visitors to the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in East Oahu were delighted to see a Hawaiian monk seal resting on the beach. At first, it was thought the seal might be “Rocky,” the female who pupped a seal on Kaimana Beach over the summer, prompting worldwide media attention for mom and her precocious pup. Since Rocky has never been tagged, volunteers and staff from Hawai’i Marine Animal Response (HMAR) now say they can’t be sure of this seals identity.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has scheduled statewide public hearings on proposed administrative rule amendments that would increase the annual commercial marine license fees from the current $50/year to $100/year initially, then to $150/year on January 1, 2018. This date may be delayed until later in the year, depending on when the rules are approved. The proposed rules also would establish a reporting deadline for dealers who buy marine life directly from commercial fishers.

The monk seal pup (RJ58), named Kaimana, who became a public and media darling after being born on the popular Waikiki beach of the same name was hooked on Labor Day. Volunteers from Hawai‘i Marine Animal Response spotted her around noon with a hook with a lure hanging from her mouth. They’d seen her two hours earlier without a hook.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has long issued annual commercial and recreational aquarium fish permits, pursuant to HRS §188-31 and administrative rules, authorizing the use of fine meshed traps or nets to take aquatic life for aquarium purposes. On Wednesday, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court ruled that aquarium collection using fine meshed traps or nets is subject to the environmental review procedures provided in the Hawai‘i Environmental Policy Act (HEPA). The issue has been remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.

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