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DLNR to hold public hearings on proposed changes to bottomfish administrative rules

MEDIA RELEASE

HONOLULU – The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold public hearings statewide, starting March 16, on proposed amendments to bottomfish administrative rules.

The proposed rule amendments would: establish a new section to open and close the bottomfish season; change commercial reporting of bottomfish catches from monthly reports to trip reports to the State; change the non-commercial bag limit from only ehu and onaga to all deep-seven species; change the bottomfish vessel registration requirement from “one-time” to annual renewal; and allow for the use of certain nets to take Kona crab while on a bottomfish vessel.

“These proposed rule amendments are intended to make state laws more consistent with existing federal laws, and provide more timely fisheries information,” said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR chairperson. “They will also help us improve management of the bottomfish fishery in the main Hawaiian Islands.”

Each meeting will begin with a public information presentation at 6 p.m., followed by the hearing at 6:30 p.m.

Following are the meeting and hearing dates and locations:
March 16, Kona — Kealakehe High School; 74-5000 Puohulihuli Street,
March 16, O‘ahu — Stevenson Middle School; 1202 Prospect Street, Honolulu
March 18, Lana‘i — Lana‘i High School and Elementary School; 555 Fraser Avenue
March 19, O‘ahu — Ben Parker Elementary School; 45-259 Waikalua Road; Kane‘ohe
March 22, Maui — Maui Waena Elementary School; 795 Onehe‘e St.; Kahului
March 22, Hilo – ‘Aupuni Conference Room; 101 Pauahi Street; Hilo, Hawai‘i
March 23, Moloka‘i — Mitchell Pau‘ole Center; 90 ‘Ainoa Street; Kaunakakai
March 23, Kaua‘i –Wilcox Elementary School; 4319 Hardy Street; Lihu‘e.

All interested persons are urged to attend the public hearing to present relevant information and individual opinion for the DLNR to consider. Persons unable to attend or wishing to present additional comments, may mail written testimony by Friday, April 9, 2010 to the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 330, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.

Anyone with a hearing impairment who desires to attend the public hearing may request assistance of a sign language interpreter. The request may be made in writing (to the DAR address in the preceding paragraph), or by calling 587-0100 (voice or TDD) in Honolulu. The request will need to be received at least 7 days before the hearing is scheduled to start.

Additional information or a copy of the proposed rule changes is available at www.state.hi.us/dlnr/dar or will be mailed at no charge upon receipt of verbal or written request to the DAR address.

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