DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
PETER T. YOUNG, CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release:
Commercial Fishers: Get Reports
HONOLULU — The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) reminds commercial fishermen that beginning March 1, 2006, DLNR will refuse to renew the commercial fishing licenses of fishers who do not comply with the monthly fish report requirement.
“We want to emphasize that as resource managers, we need the cooperation of fishermen to provide accurate, consistent catch data -- which helps us help them -- as we evaluate the State’s fisheries and marine resources,” said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson.
"DLNR wants fishers to take their livelihood, and the monthly fish report seriously and also make an effort to complete and submit them in a timely manner. We are hoping those owing reports do not wait till the last minute to submit reports,” he said.
"Refusing to renew the Commercial Marine License is the department's latest course of action to bring commercial fishermen into compliance with our fish report requirement," stated Young.
Without a valid commercial fishing license, fishers will not be able to sell their catch. Commercial fish dealers are also prohibited from purchasing fish from unlicensed fishers.
"Slightly less than half of the 3,010 commercial fishers licensed that were required to submit reports by DLNR are behind in their reporting" said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson. "One hundred ninety seven fishers, or just over 6% of the total number of commercial fishers, are at least 10 months behind in their reporting. That translates to thousands of outstanding reports."
"Commercial fishers who do not submit monthly fish reports create long-standing problems for DLNR, because they create gaps in fish landing information."
By law, commercial fishers are required to submit detailed monthly reports to DLNR within 10 days after the end of a month, even if they do not fish.
"We began this collection effort by sending a courtesy letter to all of our licensed commercial fishers. We followed with an advanced warning notice in November last year, and now we’re giving a final reminder, to provide these commercial fishers adequate time to submit overdue reports."
"We even sent courtesy letters to fishers with expired and cancelled licenses who may have outstanding reports. Inactive commercial fishers will have to submit their outstanding reports if they ever want to reactivate their licenses."
"The good news is that 1,610 commercial fishers, or nearly 52% of the licensed operators are completely up to date with their reports. Another 13 % are just one month behind in their reporting," continued Young.
“The bad news is that we are still seeing nearly one third of fishers fail to report or get caught up. We should all be concerned by this trend,” he added.
DLNR's commercial fish reports are an invaluable source of information for several important fisheries such as bottom fish, pelagic species such as tuna, billfish, nearshore fishes, etc.
It is especially critical to collect fisheries data because bottom fish and offshore species including bigeye and yellow fin tuna stocks are being evaluated by both State and Federal fisheries management for over fishing conditions and may require additional fishing regulations.
“We must recognize that everyone plays an important role. Ho‘okuleana means that to take responsibility, to ensure that there will always be resources that we depend so much on."
"We are taking these steps to have fishers take responsibility for reporting, so we may have needed information to better manage our precious resources,” concluded Young.
Contact DLNR-Aquatics offices for additional information:
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