DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
PETER T. YOUNG, CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release:
DLNR Signs Joint Enforcement Agreement
HONOLULU— The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) today entered into a new one-year cooperative enforcement agreement with the NOAA Fisheries Service (NMFS), to protect the living marine resources of Hawaii from violators of state and federal laws.
Dale Jones, Chief of the NOAA Office for Law Enforcement said, “NOAA is very pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the State of Hawaii in the mission to conserve and protect our nation’s living marine resources. Our longstanding partnership will be significantly enhanced through this joint enforcement agreement,” he said.
A key feature of this jointly-administered plan is a provision whereby DLNR receives federal funds that will be used to enhance local marine patrols and enforcement. Initial funding will provide $60,000.00 for state related enforcement expenditures. Additional funds may become available in the near future.
DLNR’s enforcement officers are trained and equipped to conduct patrols offshore, near shore and dockside to enforce both state and federal laws.
DOCARE officers will provide 735 hours under the agreement to support compliance with federal fishing and protected resources regulations, and operations that may be requested by the NMFS/OLE. Each officer statewide will attend an initial training session that will focus on aspects of this enforcement agreement.
The operations plan outlines enforcement priorities, as well as cases whose resolution will be handled by the State, by administrative, civil and/or criminal prosecution, restitution or otherwise, or in any court or administration system within the state, or by NMFS/OLE for federal prosecution.
The plan also sets forth procedures for those cases involving violations of federal fisheries or protected resources-related laws that will be prosecuted federally. DOCARE will continue to work closely with NMFS/OLE to provide documentation, conduct follow-up investigation, research records, conduct surveillance and interviews and be made available to testify in federal administrative and judicial proceedings.
DOCARE will also use the federal funds to distribute promotional and educational material for use by the public in an effort to promote voluntary compliance. The materials will inform the public of the problems the various living marine resources are encountering.
They will also inform the public of the importance of reporting suspected abuses and possible violations of existing state and Federal laws and regulations. Funds will also be used to develop an annual report for the agreement, quarterly reports, and monthly summaries.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office for Law Enforcement (OLE) has had a long-term relationship with DOCARE, beginning in August 1992, with the signing of the cooperative enforcement agreement. That agreement was previously updated in 2001.
The Board of Land and Natural Resources on June 23, 2006 approved the joint enforcement agreement between DLNR and NMFS.
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