Aquatic Resources

(Honolulu) - In a 7-0 decision Friday, the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) voted to reject an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed aquarium fishing in West Hawaiʻi. The over 2000-page EIS had been produced by a group of ten West Hawaiʻi aquarium fishers and the National Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, on their proposal to ask the DLNR to issue permits to the ten aquarium fishers. The proposed permits themselves were not before the BLNR for decision.

(Honolulu) – Hawai‘i’s struggling fisheries could be getting some help.  On Thursday, the Secretary of Commerce announced the allocation of $300 million in fisheries assistance funding provided by the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). This funding is to states, tribes, and territories with coastal and marine fisheries who have been negatively affected by COVID–19.

(Kailua-Kona) – Kahalu‘u Bay on Hawai‘i Island is one of the most popular and heavily visited snorkeling locations in all of Hawai‘i. Hundreds of thousands of people come to view colorful fish and dazzling coral colonies every year, and like in many other over-used locations, the aquatic life in the bay is struggling to survive.

 (Honolulu) – Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles and other marine animals that frequent our shores have largely had near-shore waters and beaches to themselves for the past six weeks. With today’s announcement of the reopening of select DLNR Division of State Parks units across the state, park managers and aquatic biologists are reminding people to be respectful of the places we share with Hawai‘i’s treasured marine creatures.

(Kailua) – With three successive “fire-in-the-hole” warnings, LT Jordan Bethke of the U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team (Detachment Mid-Pacific) set off C-4 explosives attached to two potential Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) off Lanikai Beach this afternoon.

(Honolulu) – For more than 20 years, the sight of monk seal R5AY, known as Honey Girl, delighted hundreds of people, as she rested on and gave birth to at least a dozen pups on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i beaches. Yesterday NOAA fisheries received notification that she was found dead on a windward O‘ahu beach.

(Honolulu) – Beaches in the Waimanalo area were more empty today than usual on the first full day of Governor Ige’s emergency rules that has closed all beaches under State of Hawai‘i jurisdiction, other than to cross them to get to the ocean for exercise.

(Honolulu) – Governor David Ige today, issued a Fifth Supplementary Proclamation to his Emergency Rules. This one includes limitations on activities outside homes or places of residence and closes all beaches in Hawai‘i.

(Honolulu) – Out of an abundance of caution and to facilitate social distancing recommendations, DLNR and its divisions are announcing the following closures to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this time of major inconvenience. We intend to reopen parks and facilities as soon as the novel coronavirus is no longer a threat. These steps are being taken to protect all visitors and constituents, as well as our staff, while maintaining a high level of service.”

(Honolulu) – Building on the success of collector urchin out-plantings in Kāne‘ohe  Bay, the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) is now out-planting hatchery-raised native sea urchins in the Waikīkī Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD).  This week the DAR Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) team introduced the first of 100,000 native sea urchins (Tripneustes gratilla), to help control over 4 acres of invasive algae.

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