HONOLULU— The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is reminding the public that taking or killing of female spiny lobsters, Kona crabs or Samoan crabs is prohibited by a new law.
The seasonal opening for male Kona crabs and spiny lobsters begins September 1, but females are now off-limits, year-round. There is no closed season for Samoan crabs.
An amendment to Chapter 188, of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, adds a new section that states: “Unless otherwise exempted by law, it shall be unlawful for any person to take or kill any female ula (spiny lobster or Panulirus), female Kona crab (Ranina ranina), or female Samoan crab (Scylla serrata).”
“The new law, Act 77, was signed into effect by Governor Linda Lingle on May 4, 2006. It is included in the new DLNR Hawaii Fishing Regulations July 2006 edition, along with illustrations on how to tell male from female crabs and lobsters,” said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson.
Information about the law and how to distinguish between male and female crustaceans is available on the DLNR-Aquatics web site at http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/fish_regs/mvf.htm
Female marine invertebrates raised in commercial aquaculture are not covered by this prohibition.
“The number of spiny lobster, Kona crabs, and Samoan crabs has declined over the years,” says Peter Young, DLNR chairperson.
“It appears that the over-harvesting of females has contributed to the decline. This measure prohibits any taking of female ula, Kona Crabs, and Samoan crabs, regardless of whether the taking was for commercial or recreational purposes.
A violation of this chapter is considered a petty misdemeanor and, in addition to any other criminal penalties, a violator shall be fined not less than: (1) $100 for a first offense; (2) $200 for a second offense; and (3) $500 for a third or subsequent offense, and be subject to up to 30 days in jail
The civil penalty fine is up to $1,000 per violation, plus up to $1,000 per specimen for a first offense (Section 187A-12.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes).
To report any violation of this, or another fishing rule, call the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement at 587-0077 on Oahu, or neighbor island offices in: Hilo 974-6208, Kailua-Kona 327-4961, Capt. Cook 323-3141, Maui 984-8110, Lanai 565-7916, Molokai 553-5190, and Kauai 274-3521.
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For more information, contact:
DLNR-Aquatic Resources Education Coordinator
Phone: (808) 587-0111