Waikīkī-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management Area will close to fishing for year starting Jan. 1, 2015
HONOLULU — The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) announces the closing of the Waikīkī-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management Area, O‘ahu, to fishing for one year beginning Jan. 1, 2015, and ending Dec. 31, 2015.
The Fisheries Management Area encompasses the nearshore waters between the ‘Ewa wall of the Waikīkī War Memorial Natatorium and the Diamond Head Lighthouse, from the high-water mark on shore to a minimum seaward distance of 500 yards, or to the edge of the fringing reef if one occurs beyond 500 yards.
“Periodically closing areas to fishing was a practice used by early Hawaiians; it helped fish populations replenish themselves,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “We use a variation of that at Waikīkī-Diamond Head for the same purpose. Closed years give fish a break from fishing pressure, and allow their populations to increase. Fishing experiences are then improved during open years.”
The fisheries management area encompasses the nearshore waters between the ‘Ewa wall of the Waikīkī War Memorial Natatorium and the Diamond Head Lighthouse, and from the high-water mark on shore to a minimum seaward distance of 500 yards (or to the edge of the fringing reef if one occurs beyond 500 yards).
The FMA is regulated by the department’s administrative rule, Chapter 13-48. It is prohibited to fish for, take or injure any marine life (including eggs) or to possess in the water any fishing gear during the “closed to fishing” period.
Fishing is also not allowed at any time in the adjoining Waikīkī Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD) between the ‘Ewa edge of the Natatorium and the ‘Ewa edge of the Kapahulu groin (seawall).
Anyone who violates the provisions of this rule may be guilty of a petty misdemeanor, and /or subject to an administrative fine.
Chapter 48 is available directly at this link: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/files/2014/05/ch48.pdf
This is the only marine area in Hawai‘i that has a cyclical one-year open and one-year closed management regime. The purpose is to restore reef fish stocks. This specific area was chosen in part because of its easily identifiable boundaries.
Beginning in 1979, this area and what is now the adjacent MLCD were on a cycle where the area was closed completely one year, the next year there were limited take activities, and during the 3rd and 4th years the area was open to fishing. The cycle would then repeat.
In 1988, the Waikīkī MLCD was established, which provided one section of the experimental area with permanent closure for ecosystem management and to allow fish stocks to recover (see HAR 13-36). The remaining portion that did not become an MLCD went on a one-year open/closed cycle that continues today.