Hawaii's Waikiki-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management Area Opens to One Year of Fishing on January 1, 2012

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The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) announces the opening of the Waikiki-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management Area O‘ahu, to fishing for one year beginning January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012.

The fishery management area encompasses the nearshore waters between the ‘Ewa wall of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium and the Diamond Head Lighthouse, and from the high-water mark on shore to a minimum seaward distance of 500 yards, or to the edge of the fringing reef if one occurs beyond 500 yards.

“The stretch of shoreline and nearshore waters between the Natatorium and the Diamond Head Lighthouse are very popular for fishing and recreation among residents and visitors,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “The fishing public is reminded that non-fishers frequent and use the area, too. We urge them to use caution while fishing, to keep swimmers, surfers and others safe also.

“Similarly, we remind the non-fishing public to be mindful that fishers may be present. This nearshore area has been managed for public fishing since 1978, and fishermen have a right to enjoy their activity as well,” Aila said.

Fishing is not allowed in the Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District, between the ‘Ewa edge of the Natatorium and the ‘Ewa edge of the Kapahulu groin (seawall).

Permitted fishing methods include pole-and-line, thrownet, spear (daylight hours only), and hand harvest. Anyone who violates the provisions of this rule shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be punished as provided by law.

Copies of the administrative rule, Chapter 13-48 are available at the Division of Aquatic Resources office, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Rm. 330, in the Hawai‘i Fishing Regulations booklet (available at most sporting goods stores), or on the DAR website: www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar.

Background info: The Chapter referenced in the press release is available at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/admin_rules.html particularly chapter 48 is available directly at this link http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/rules/ch48.pdf

This is the only marine area in Hawaii that has the cyclical 1 year open and 1 year closed management. The purpose is to restore the fish stocks. This specific area was chosen because of it's easily identifiable boundaries.

Beginning in 1979 this area and what is now the adjacent MLCD were on a cycle where the area was closed completely 1 year, the next year (2) there was limited take activities, and then the 3rd and 4th years the area was open to fishing. The cycle would then repeat.

In 1988 the Waikiki MLCD was established which provided one section of the experimental area wit permanent closures for ecosystem management and to allow fish stocks to recover (see HAR 13-36). The remaining portion that did not become an MLCD went on a 1 year cycle of open/ closed that still takes effect today.