DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
PETER T. YOUNG, CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release:
Lay Net Rule Amendments
HONOLULU -- The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has drafted changes to its existing lay gillnet rules in order to better protect Hawaii’s fishery resources.
The rule change proposal will be considered at the next Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting on January 27, 2006.
"One of the key features of these rules is that they will be much easier to enforce, and that, in turn, provides greater protection for our resources," said Peter Young, DLNR Chairperson.
"This has been the department's focus all along. These lay gillnet restrictions are a major, necessary step forward in making sure we have fish for the future."
"We invite the public to attend our public hearings and voice their opinions," Young said.
“Lay” nets, also known as “lay gillnets,” or “stationary gillnets” are used in near shore waters. Sometimes referred to as “set” nets or “moemoe” nets, they are commonly made of monofilament nylon which has been manufactured into netting with floats on one length and weights on the other length.
DLNR has been working on improving management of lay gillnets for some time, illustrated by the following chronology.
One catalyst for action was the appearance, in 1997, of a new type of very long gillnet -- sometimes over one mile in length — along the Wai'anae coast of O'ahu. This monofilament net was set on the bottom in depths 200 feet or greater via a hydraulically operated drum on the bow of a boat.
Use of this type of net raised the concerns of long-time Wai'anae commercial fishermen that it was damaging the reef habitat of fish. This prompted the formation of a Gillnet Task Force composed of various fishermen, with support from DLNR-Aquatic Resources staff.
Members of the task force came from Kaua'i, O'ahu, Moloka'i, Maui, and Hawai'i. At first, their concerns were with the deep-set gillnets, but they broadened their discussion to include inshore gillnets (lay gillnets). In 1999, the task force presented a list of recommendations on managing gillnets to the department.
At that point in time it was noted that an outright ban on lay gillnets was not part of the Gillnet Task Force recommendations and was not explicitly discussed as an alternative.
DLNR then authorized a second set of meetings, held in late 2003 and early 2004, and additional public comment was gathered addressing the proposal for a partial or outright ban on lay gillnet fishing. A survey was distributed and many residents also sent statements on the matter.
Results of the survey, taken at the public meetings and via a written survey are posted on-line on the DLNR web site (http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/library/laynet_mgmt.htm).
Recently, lay gillnet fishing regulations based on recommendations from the Gillnet Task Force and considerable public input were adopted for West Hawaii on the Big Island. The regulations included open and banned areas for lay gillnets as well as fishing protocols when using lay gillnets.
The proposed statewide lay gillnet rules are modeled after the recently passed West Hawaii regulations.
DLNR’s Proposed Lay Net Gear Restrictions:
For waters where lay nets are to be permitted, additional restrictions
Proposed Area Restrictions:
Moloka'i, Lana'i, Kaua'i and Ni'ihau will not have banned areas for lay net use, however, the proposed additional restrictions will apply
Proposed waters where lay net use would be banned:
Hawaii - existing banned areas in West Hawai'i
Evaluation for Effectiveness
Key events in development of proposed lay gillnet amendments:
1977 - Maximum soak time: 12 hours, previously no limit; minimum mesh
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