Iges signs laws to protect sharks, crabs, lobsters

HONOLULU — Nine bills passed by the state Legislature this year were signed into law Tuesday by Gov. David Ige.

“On this World Oceans Day, Hawai‘i again shows great leadership in grappling with the threats and challenges our precious marine environments face,” said Ige.

“I deeply appreciate the Legislature’s support of these measures, which collectively advance protection, management and stewardship of ocean resources well into the future,” he said.

State Board of Land and Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case, on hand for the bill-signing, said, “I want to add our thanks to leadership in both the House and the Senate who were instrumental in passage of seven of the administrative bills proposed by the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources.

“This was certainly one of the most ocean-conservation-oriented legislative sessions in decades, and these measures will bring us that much closer to realizing the goals of Governor Ige’s Honomua: Marine 30X30 Initiative,” said Case.

That initiative calls for the protection of at least 30% of the most-sensitive nearshore waters by 2030.

The bills signed into law are as follows:

• HB1016 (regarding Commercial Marine Vessel Licenses): Allows the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to issue a single CMVL for all persons aboard a vessel. Rules and fees will be established by administrative rules;

• HB1017 (regarding crustaceans): Repeals a statute prohibiting the taking or killing of female spiny lobsters, Kona and Samoan crabs. The DAR has administrative rules that mirror the statute and can modify regulations as necessary through the rulemaking process. Rulemaking is planned for the taking of female Kona crabs;

• HB1018 (regarding lay-net permits): Authorizes the DLNR to establish rules for lay-net permits for use or possession. Requires annual permit renewal and the ability to withhold or revoke permits for violators;

• HB1019 (regarding establishment of an Ocean Stewardship Special Fund): Authorizes DLNR to establish a Hawai‘i Ocean Stewardship Special Fund that will provide more-consistent and reliable support for the conservation, protection, restoration and management of Hawai‘i’s precious and endangered marine resources;

• HB1020 (regarding adaptive management): Authorizes the BLNR to implement effective and adaptive-management measures in response to rapidly-changing conditions, such as size and bag limits, closed seasons and gear restrictions when needed in extraordinary situations. This law is effective Oct. 1, 2021;

• HB1022 (regarding natural-resource inspections): Authorizes the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources officers to inspect coolers or other containers which could carry regulated aquatic life;

• HB1023 (regarding nonresident recreational marine fishing licenses): Authorizes the DLNR to establish and require a marine recreational fishing license for all non-Hawai‘i residents. Visitors will need to purchase this license in order to fish from the shoreline or a boat in Hawaiian waters;

• SB772 (regarding special license plates): Authorizes the issuance of special license plates relating to forest and ocean conservation. Revenues will be deposited into special funds for forest stewardship and beach restoration;

• HB 553 (regarding shark protection): Prohibits the taking of sharks in state waters and authorizes the DLNR to implement the measure. Exemptions include scientific research, public safety and self-defense. This law is effective Jan. 1, 2022.

  1. Jason1704 June 9, 2021 3:27 am Reply

    I think it’s a good thing to apply or add restrictions when it comes to the ocean resources, it should have been done a very long time ago, illegal harvest of female crustaceans, seasonal and limited harvesting per person, stiff fines for poaching etc.

    1. I guess you didn’t read....: June 9, 2021 6:46 pm Reply

      Nor did the person writing the article. The bill HB1017 REPEALS the prohibition of female spiny lobster and crab harvest. That means next season. Kona crab is wide open! Auraiiii

    2. tunataxi June 10, 2021 2:01 pm Reply

      Hereʻs the thing..they are repealing a stupid law they enacted 15 years ago. I said from the day they did it that taking only males was stupid. Now they know it was a bad decision

  2. RGLadder37 June 10, 2021 4:17 am Reply

    I don’t get the law. I’m from Pakistan. Well my relatives anyway. And no they won’t bomb Hawai’i. Isn’t the lobsters in abundance? Cannot run out. Why are they limiting Lobsters to be eaten or caught?

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