Proposal to amend Maui fishing regulations for Kahului Harbor and ‘oama
The Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) will request approval from the Board of Land and Natural Resources, at its May 14 meeting, to hold a public hearing to update rules relating to the Kahului Harbor Fisheries Management Area (FMA), Maui, and to the take and possession of ‘oama on the island of Maui.
The Kahului Harbor FMA was established in 1984. Rules pertaining to fishing in the Harbor have been amended over the years to address ongoing concerns over user conflicts. Most recently, beginning in 2018, Maui DAR staff worked with fishers, community members, and other stakeholders to gather input and exchange ideas regarding current resource management concerns. These discussions also highlighted a need to update ‘oama regulations to be more user friendly toward recreational fishers.
The proposed rule amendments for Kahului Harbor would:
- Prohibit the use of all nets in the harbor with the exception of a “landing net” with a stretched mesh of two inches or greater and a “hand net” no larger than 8 inches in diameter and with a handle that is no more than 14 inches in length;
- Remove the exceptions for take of nehu under a commercial bait license;
- Remove the exceptions for commercial akule net fishing;
- Remove the exceptions for crab netting;
- Remove the exceptions for take of juvenile mullet under an aquaculture license; and
- Create an exception to the rule that all hooks must only have one point to allow the use of double or treble hooks when using lures.
The requirement for fisher check station reporting would be repealed. Check-in stations would be converted to outreach stations where DAR can post rules and updates. Other changes would update definitions and make other non-substantive technical amendments for purposes of clarity and consistency.
The proposed rule amendments for ‘oama on Maui would add weke ula (Mulloidichthys vanicolensis) as a regulated species in addition to the existing weke ‘ā (M. flavolineatus), as the two are difficult to distinguish at that size, and redefine ‘oama as these two species when less than eight inches fork length (previously five inches). Certain other definitions would also be updated.