Permanent Sea Cucumber Harvest Rule Hearing Schedule
A series of public hearings are scheduled in November in response to the unprecedented large-scale commercial harvest of sea cucumbers earlier this year off of Maui and Oʻahu.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources will discuss a proposed new rule to permanently regulate sea cumber harvesting in state waters. Currently all sea cumber harvest is prohibited by a 120 day emergency rule adopted by the Board of Land and Natural Resources in June.
Under the proposed new rule, the harvest of sea cucumbers for commercial consumption purposes would be prohibited; but limited take for personal non-commercial use would be allowed.
The rule would also establish an annual season for commercial aquarium harvest of two species of sea cucumbers on Oʻahu only. While the season is open, licensed aquarium collectors may harvest up to 20 sea cucumbers per person each day. Under the rule, the aquarium season will close when the total annual aquarium catch limit of 3,600 sea cucumbers is reached.
The meeting schedule begins on Maui on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Lihikai School in Kahului.
The complete public hearing schedule is as follows:
- Monday, Nov. 9, 2015: Maui – Lihikai School, Kahului, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015: Molokaʻi – Mitchel Pauole Center Conference Room, Kaunakakai, 1 to 3 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015: Oʻahu – Stevenson Middle School Cafeteria, Honolulu, 6 to 9 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015: Hilo – Hawaiʻi County Aupuni Center Conference Room, 6 to 9 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015: Kona – Kealakehe High School Cafeteria, 6 to 9 p.m.
- Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015: Lānaʻi – Lānaʻi Public Library, 1 to 3 p.m.
- Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015: Kauaʻi – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School Cafeteria, Līhue, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The public is encouraged to attend a public hearing to provide information and comment for the DLNR to consider. Those unable to attend or who wish to provide additional comments, can submit written testimony by Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 via mail to: Division of Aquatic Resources, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 330, Honolulu, HI 96813, or by email to: [email protected]