Stakeholders seek to set the course to sustainable fishing in Maunalua Bay

Four years ago a cross-section of Maunalua Bay stakeholders, recognizing that fish is food and that sustainable fishing is a must, submitted a request to DLNR to establish a Fisheries Management Area (FMA) within Maunalua Bay, O‘ahu.

After four years of collaboration among fishers, community groups, conservation groups, and the Department of Land and Natural Resources, a 10-year management plan has been drafted including FMA boundaries and rules. The proposal is expected to be presented to the public for discussion in late 2021.  Key elements of the initiative include:

  • No spear fishing while night diving. (“Torching” will still be permitted.)
  • No take of lobster, 7-11 crab, or specified shells.
  • FMA rules automatically cease to exist after 10 years unless an advisory committee consisting of stakeholder and government representation recommends continuance; goals and objectives must be specified that provide basis for an extension beyond 10 years.
  • Emphasis on stakeholder involvement, including an advisory oversight committee consisting of fishers, researchers, local organizations, and governmental representation.
  • Incorporation of adaptive management practices in fisheries management.

DLNR anticipates formal announcement of a public scoping session in the fourth quarter of 2021. (Hopefully pandemic restrictions will accommodate in-person sessions.)