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Request for Comments – Request to Repeal, Four of the existing Main Hawaiian Islands Bottomfish Restricted Fishing Areas (COMMENTS DUE by Jan. 11, 2019)

REQUEST TO REPEAL, FOUR OF THE EXISTING MAIN HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
BOTTOMFISH RESTRICTED FISHING AREAS

The Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) is taking a conservative approach and is proposing to repeal four of the 12 BRFAs. To determine which BRFAs to repeal, DAR considered several factors which include: habitat value, fishery return, enforceability, safety, a DAR initiated survey that solicited the opinion of registered bottomfishers, and recommendations by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. Another major factor considered was equity for fishing opportunity at the county level. Based on the factors considered, DAR recommends repealing the following BRFAs: BRFA C (Poipu, Kauai County), BRFA F (Penguin Banks, Honolulu County), BRFA J (Hana, Maui County), and BRFA L (Leleiwi, Hawaii Island).

The agenda will be published approximately one week before the meeting on the following website:
http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blnr-meetings-2019/

The public will be given the opportunity to submit testimony for the agenda item. You may sign in and testify the day of the meeting or you can submit testimony in writing by the following ways:

  1. fax: (808) 587-0390 Attn: Board Members
  2. e-mail: blnr.testimony@hawaii.gov
  3. mail: Department of Land and Natural Resources
    Attn: Board Members
    1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 130,
    Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Reasons to remove some BFRAs:

  • The MHI Deep-7 Bottomfish fishery is one of the best-managed fishery in Hawaii due to the close cooperation between State and Federal fisheries management agencies
  • The 2018 MHI Deep-7 Bottomfish stock assessment indicates that the stock is not in a state of overfishing and not overfished
  • DAR believes BRFAs may no longer be necessary
  • Fishers Statewide support removal of BRFAs
  • The State will continue to monitor the fishery to evaluate the influence of repealed BRFAs
  • The BRFA, in part or in whole, may be repealed by formal action of the Board

Click here to see the original letter from HI DLNR announcing upcoming BLNR meeting.