Statewide hearings scheduled for proposed updates to rules pertaining to lobster, Kona crabs, and Samoan crabs

In an effort to facilitate compliance with the rules regulating the take, possession, and sale of lobsters, Kona crabs, and Samoan crabs in State waters, the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has scheduled public hearings this month. Currently, these species are regulated under statute as well as multiple administrative rule chapters. The proposed consolidation will place all regulations in a single rule chapter.

The proposed actions will not result in any substantive changes to existing regulations. Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) chapters 13-84, relating to Samoan crab, and 13-89, relating to spiny lobster or ula and slipper lobster or ula papapa, would be repealed and their substantive provisions would be incorporated into chapter 13-95.  DAR also proposes to incorporate into HAR chapter 13-95 the statutory provisions of HRS §188-58.5, which prohibit the taking or killing of female Samoan and Kona crabs, and spiny lobsters.  Consolidating these rules into one rule chapter will facilitate compliance by making it easier to find all applicable regulations on these crustacean species.  The take, possession, or sale of these resources will not be affected by these proposed administrative rulemaking actions.

Public hearings are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Kona – Kealakehe High School Cafeteria, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Kaua‘i – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School Cafeteria, Lihue, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Lana‘i – Lanai Public Library, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Moloka‘i – Mitchel Pauole Center Conference Room, Kaunakakai, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020
O‘ahu – Stevenson Middle School Cafeteria, Honolulu, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Maui – Maui Division of Aquatic Resources Office Conference Room, Wailuku, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 9, 2020
Hilo – Hilo State Building Conference Room, Hilo, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

People are encouraged to attend a public hearing to provide information and comment for the DLNR to consider.  Those unable to attend or who wish to provide additional comments can submit written testimony via mail or e-mail by Friday, January 24, 2020. 

Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 330, Honolulu, HI 96813. [email protected]

Anyone with a hearing impairment who would like to attend a public hearing may request the assistance of a sign language interpreter.  Send requests to the DAR address above or call 587-0100 (voice or TDD) in Honolulu. Requests must be received at least seven days in advance.

The draft rule is available for viewing and download at this link.