Final Environmental Impact Study

Deadline for Submission: May 31, 2020

Hawai'i's Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) is accepting public comments on a Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) aimed at reopening West Hawai'i to 10 aquarium fisherman. This is after a two year shut down for an environmental compliance review stemming from a Supreme Court ruling.

Twenty years ago, ACT 306 was proposed as a legislative mandate to set up a comprehensive fishery management area/program. Through community input from stakeholders, opposition, residents and various other user groups the West Hawai'i Regional Fishery Management Area (WHRFMA) was formed. This closed 35% of the coast as no take areas to the aquarium fisherman, set aside as fish replenishment areas (FRA). Additionally, this setup the West Hawai'i Aquarium Project (WHAP) which would study the fishery, count fish populations, work with the community and report finding to State officials and the Legislature. Through time, additional regulations were passed such as bag limits on the top three collected species along with slot limits to protect breeding size fish along with a 40 species white list (allowed to take).

Every five years there is a report generated by the fishery managers (WHAP) and submitted to the legislature. With this five year report being released this year, the FEIS was able to evaluate the most current data, fish populations and historical catch information to the baseline studies from 1999.

The results are clear, this fishery was sustainable and will continue to be with the limited number of fisherman proposed. Your comments are urgently needed to help re-open the most studied, well managed near-shore fishery in the world. This is the final decision meeting to determine the fate of this fishery.

Please read the Full FEIS Document and let your friends know about this cause.

Complete this form to submit comments IN SUPPORT of the FEIS. Comments will go directly to Land Board members.

Email Address

I support DLNR's adoption of the Final Environmental Impact Statement analyzing Issuance of 10 Commercial Aquarium Permits for the West Hawai'i Regional Fishery Management Area (WHRFMA).

Additional comments

Thank you for your continued support of The West Hawai'i Aquarium Fishery!

Please read the Full FEIS Document and let your friends know about this cause.