New Sea Cucumber Harvest Rule in the Works
The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources plans to hold public hearings on a new rule to permanently regulate sea cucumber harvesting in state waters.
Sea Cucumber harvests are currently under a 120-day emergency rule adopted by the Board of Land and Natural Resources that was set in place in June in response to unprecedented large-scale commercial harvest of sea cucumbers.
Long-term protection of sea cucumbers is the aim of the proposed rule. The rule would prohibit the harvest of sea cucumbers for commercial consumption purposes, but allow limited take for personal non-commercial use.
Under the rule, an annual season for commercial aquarium harvest of two species of sea cucumbers would be established on Oahu only. While the season is open, licensed aquarium collectors would be allowed to harvest up to 20 sea cucumbers a person each day. The season would close with a catch limit totaling 3,600 sea cucumbers.
Two Big Island public hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hawai’i County Aupuni Center Conference Room in Hilo and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Kealakehe High School cafeteria in Kona.
Members of the public are encouraged to attend the public hearings to provide information and comment for the DLNR to consider.
Anyone interested in commenting but not able to attend the meeting should send comments via mail to Division of Aquatic Resources, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 330, Honolulu, HI 96813 or e-mail by Friday, Nov. 20 to [email protected].
A copy of the proposed rules can be views at the DAR website.