HONOLULU -- The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) wants to call the public's attention to an unintended consequence recently recognized in its pending Natural Area Reserves rulemaking. DLNR has corrected this confusing issue.
DLNR has received some initial public comment on its proposed changes to Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) Chapter 13-209 (Rules Regulating Activities in Natural Area Reserves) regarding the potential impact of the proposed rules on fishing. DLNR has scheduled statewide public hearings on the rules on June 28.
"It is NOT the intention of DLNR, with these proposed rules, to prohibit fishing in areas where it is currently allowed, or to enact new fishing restrictions. We thank those concerned citizens who called to bring this to our attention. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused to the general public," said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson.
Of the 19 natural area reserves (NAR) statewide, 18 are located exclusively on land and only one, Ahihi-Kinau NAR on Maui, includes marine waters. Fishing or collection of marine life is prohibited within the waters of Ahihi-Kinau. Fishing or collection of marine life is not restricted in any other NAR.
"Over the years, we have had difficulty in enforcing the prohibition on fishing at Ahihi-Kinau NAR. The intent of the proposed rule change prohibiting the possession of tools, equipment or implements that may be used for the taking, injuring or killing of marine life was to increase the ability of the DLNR to prevent damage to the marine resources of Ahihi-Kinau NAR," Young said.
Banning the possession of these tools would allow a DOCARE officer to cite someone before they use these items to illegally fish or collect marine life at Ahihi-Kinau NAR.
Fishing or collection of marine life is already prohibited within the waters of Ahihi-Kinau. However, fishing or collection of marine life is not restricted offshore other natural area reserves which may be along a coastline.
"As public comment has pointed out, the proposed rules, as originally drafted, would have the unintended consequence of subjecting fishermen legally accessing the shoreline through other natural area reserves, like Kaena Point, to citation for illegal possession of fishing equipment," Young said.
To better demonstrate the DLNR's intent for this rule change, DLNR has worked with the Attorney General's office to develop alternative language (new language in bold) for this particular rule change:
§ 13-209-4 Prohibited activities. The following activities are prohibited within a natural area reserve:
(14) To have or possess the following tools, equipment, or implements: fishing gear or devices within the Ahihi-Kinau natural area reserve, including but not limited to any hook-and-line, rod, reel, spear, trap, net, crowbar, or other device that may be used for the taking, injuring, or killing of marine life; cutting or harvesting tools or gear, including but not limited to chainsaws, axes, loppers, any mechanized or manual sawtooth tool, seed pickers, or machete, that may be used for the taking, injuring, or killing of plant life; and hunting gear or tools that may be used for the taking, injuring, or killing of wildlife, except as permitted by the hunting rules of the department.
At the public hearings scheduled June 28, 2006, the public is encouraged to attend and provide testimony on both the proposed draft rules and this alternative language for DLNR to consider.
Additional information or a free copy of the proposed rule changes is available by calling or writing to DLNR at: 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813; or phone (808) 587-0051.
The proposed rule changes may also be viewed on the web at:
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For more information, contact:
Peter T. Young, Chairperson DLNR
808 587-0400; 808 226-3567