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Governor signs West Hawaii fishing rules into law

On December 14th Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a new set of rule changes for the fisheries of the entire west coast of Hawaii Island.  The new rules are the product of years of research and public input and debate.   The resulting rules include the ban of the highly controversial SCUBA spearfishing, along with restrictions on aquarium trade fishing in some areas, “no-take” for some vital marine species, and closes at 1,500ft section of Ka’ohe Bay to aquarium collecting.

From West Hawaii Today article by Nancy Cook Lauer:

“There’s a variety of interests involved and I wanted to make sure I understood everyone’s point of view,” Abercrombie said, explaining the delay in signing the package.

The rules codify prohibitions on scuba spearfishing in certain West Hawaii waters, as well as the “white list” of fish aquarium fish collectors may remove within the West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area, which spans 147 miles from Upolu to South Point.

The package also introduces size and bag limits for yellow tang, Achilles tang and kole.

Former County Councilman Pete Hoffmann, who worked extensively on fisheries rules at both the county and regional level, said he was happy to see regulations adopted.

“It’s a beginning,” Hoffmann said. “The idea of some regulations are absolutely necessary for the protection of our near-shore marine resources.”

Read more at West Hawaii Today

Watch the video interview with Gov. Abercrombie



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