Categorized | Environment

DLNR announces changes to coral, live rock rules

Damaged coral (Photo courtesy of DLNR)

Damaged coral (Photo courtesy of DLNR)

MEDIA RELEASE

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has announced that amendments to Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapter 13-95, Rules Regulating the Taking and Selling of Certain Marine Resources, will take effect Thursday, May 1, 2014.

The purpose of the amendments is to strengthen the rules and stiffen penalties for intentional or negligent large-scale damage to stony coral and live rock, such as by vessel groundings, introduction of sediments, biological contaminants, and other pollutants.

It remains unlawful for any person to take, break, or damage any stony coral or live rock. It’s also unlawful to sell stony coral or live rocks.

“These new rules tighten up the state’s ability to enforce damage to an essential habitat that provides millions of dollars in ecosystem services through fishing and tourism,” said Frazer McGilvray, administrator for the Division of Aquatic Resources.

Stony corals are defined as any species belonging to the Order Scleractinia (marine corals which generate a hard skeleton) that are native to the Hawaiian Islands. All reef corals, including mushroom corals, belong to this order.

Live rock is defined as any natural hard substrate to which marine life is visibly attached or affixed. Virtually every hard substrate in nearshore waters has something living attached to it.

The full text of the rule may be obtained online at state.hi.us/dlnr/dar/rules/ch9… or at any Division of Aquatic Resources office.

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