DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
PETER T. YOUNG, CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release:
Be Briefed On NWHI Permit Process
The Board of Land and Natural Resources will be briefed on the new permit process for access to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., Friday, February 24, in the BLNR conference room, Kalanimoku Building, Room 132, Oahu. The briefing will be conducted by the Aquatic Resources Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Governor Lingle recently signed regulations establishing all State waters in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) as a limited access, no extraction marine refuge.
The boundaries of the NWHI marine refuge area include, but are not limited to, the reefs, and shoals, and their appurtenant reefs and all state waters extending three miles seaward of any coastline beginning and including Nihoa Island and Kure Atoll, but excluding Midway Atoll.
The rules set aside 100 percent of State waters from extractive uses, including commercial and recreational fishing, and require an entry permit for all other activities which is consistent with the management programs in the adjacent National Wildlife Refuge and the NWHI Coral Ecosystem Reserve.
The Board of Land and Natural Resources will issue non-transferable permits for up to one-year (maximum term provided), and will deny applications if applicant has violated any term or condition of a prior permit granted or revoked. Other penalties will also apply as provided by law.
The new rules allow Native Hawaiian cultural, subsistence, and religious practices, and identification and coordination of Native Hawaiian interests, as consistent with applicable law and the long-term conservation and protection of the resources of the marine refuge.
Under the new permit system, prohibited activities include: entering the refuge without a permit except for freedom of navigation, innocent passage, interstate commerce and activities related to national defense or enforcement, foreign affairs, and in response to emergencies; to take for the purpose of sale or sell marine life taken from the refuge; to set foot on shore, on any emergent and or reef; to anchor vessels or any other activity that can or does result in damaging coral; and to discharge from a vessel as defined in federal and state law.
Permitted activities include the following three purposes: scientific or education purposes; non-extractive purposes undertaken to further the knowledge of resources or which provides for enhanced resources protection or resource management; Native Hawaiian subsistence, traditional and customary practices consistent with the long-term preservation of the refuge resources.
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For more information, contact: