Reef Talk Tonight 6:30-7:30 – March 19

Kaloko Honokohau National Park, Kona

Anchialine Pool Ecology,  Presented by Lisa Marrack

Anchialine pools are incredible natural and cultural resources but are not well known, even by people born and raised in the Hawaiian Islands.  This is a great opportunity to learn about these amazing places from an expert.






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WHFC Meeting TONIGHT at 6:30pm

Attached is the agenda…WEST HAWAI agenda022113

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WHFC Summary of Rule Making Responses

WHRFMA Rules 2012 SUMMARY Testimony & Comments

WHRFMA Rules 2012 Testimony IN SUPPORT

WHRFMA Rules 2012 Testimony IN OPPOSITION


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West Hawaii Fishery Council Reports on Rule Making


As I’m sure you’re aware, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has been actively engaged in Hawaiʹi Administrative Rule making relating to West Hawaiʹi coral reefs.  Public testimony on these rules was accepted from 17 October, 2012 to 19 December, 2012.  A Public Hearing on the proposed rules was held in West Hawaiʹi on 05 December, 2012.

All submitted public testimony and comments are attached in three separate documents as well as an overall summary.

After an assessment of the necessity and utility of the rules and in response to overwhelming supportive public testimony, DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) will recommend to the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) that the West Hawaii rules be approved in their entirety.

The rules include the following:

For the West Hawaiʹi Regional Fishery Management Area (WHRFMA):

Ø  Establishment of a list of 40 fish species permitted for aquarium take.  Only fish found on this “White List” can be collected live for aquarium use.  Size and bag limits are also established for 3 of the species on the White List.

Ø  Prohibition of SCUBA/Rebreather spearfishing and/or possession of such gear with a spear or speared aquatic life.

Ø  Prohibition of take or possession of 9 species of inshore sharks and rays and 2 invertebrate crown-of-thorns predators.

Ø  Establishment of a 1,500 foot section of Ka‘ohe Bay (Pebble Beach), South Kona, as a Fish Replenishment Area (FRA) where no aquarium collecting or recreational fish feeding will be allowed.

 Several other WHRFMA rule changes are also proposed to enhance enforcement of aquarium collecting regulations and to clarify existing rule provisions:

Ø  Establishment of a West Hawaiʹi Aquarium Permit for both recreational and commercial collectors to take aquarium fish in the WHRFMA.

Ø  Possession of aquarium collecting gear or aquarium fish on a vessel after sunset or before sunrise is permissible only when prior notification is made to the DAR-Kona office.

Ø  Nets or containers used to capture or hold aquarium fish must be labeled with the commercial marine license (CML) number(s) of the persons who own or are using such equipment.

Ø  Minimum mesh size requirements for “lay nets” do not apply to nets permitted for use under an aquarium permit, and labeled with the CML number of the person owning or using the net.

In addition to the above provisions there are also proposed rule changes involving updates to two Fisheries Management Areas (FMA) within the WHRFMA and an update to DLNR’s lay net rule: 

Ø  Clarification of the boundaries of the Puakō Bay and Puakō Reef Fisheries Management Area (chapter 13-54) (out to the edge of the fringing reef) and the types of nets prohibited (all except thrownets).

Ø  Clarification of the no-netting boundaries within the Keauhou Bay Fisheries Management Area rule (chapter 13-57) to be consistent with the no-netting boundaries established under the WHRFMA rule.

Ø  Technical amendments to the department’s statewide lay net rule (chapter 13-75-12.4) for consistency with the proposed WHRFMA rule (chapter 13-60.4) and to reflect differences between the rules.

The next step in the rulemaking process is final decision making by the BLNR.  It is anticipated that the Board will address DAR’s recommendation of approval at a meeting to be held shortly after the current legislative session ends (May 2013).  We are working on having the BLNR hold that meeting in West Hawai’i.

Mahalo nui for all of the work by so many people over such a long time.

William j .Walsh Ph.D.

Hawai’i Division of Aquatic Resources

Honokohau Marina

74-380B Kealakehe Pkwy.

Kailua-Kona, HI 96740



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NEW O‘ahu and Kaua‘i Day-Use Mooring Guidebooks

Day-Use Mooring Guidebooks for O‘ahu and Kaua‘i are now available on our website for FREE downloading.  They are in the Resources section under Day-Use Mooring Program.  The books are beautifully done and have a lot of information about each dive site along with maps and GPS coordinates so you can easily find them.  Most importantly you learn how to use a day-use mooring and help save our coral reefs from anchor damage.  Check it out!

Hard bound copies of the guidebooks will be available at dive shops on each island while supplies last.  Ask your favorite dive shop if they have one available, if not, have them contact us and we’ll get them FREE copies.

Special thanks to Kater Bourdon, our project manager, who did an excellent job.  Also to Geoff Moore (Silver Moon Art & Design) for creating a beautiful design, Orlando Smith (O. Smith Co.) for his fabulous maps, and Faith Freitas (Trade Publishing Company) for quality printing of the hard bound books.  This project would not have been possible without the support of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority who believed in our work and funded the project.

Several dive operators helped immensely by providing dive site information, checking the maps, and distributing the printed books.  On O‘ahu special thanks to Devon Merrifield (Aqua Zone Hawaii), Patrick Price (Pearl Harbor Divers), and Jennifer Sparacio (Hawaii Nautical).  On Kaua‘i special thanks to Marvin Otsuji and Kyle Ingram (Sea Sport Divers), Linda Marsh (Bubbles Below), and Neil Shields (Aloha Kai Surf and Scuba).




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The Humpbacks are coming, the Humpbacks are coming

The US Coast Guard has just released a press release in conjunction with DLNR-DOCARE and the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary regarding this year’s whale season.  They have asked us to help spread the word, so here’s the press release.  Keep yourself and the whales safe on the water.

Coast Guard, NOAA, DLNR prepare for return of humpback whales to Hawaiian waters

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Friday, November 2nd at the NELHA Gateway-6:30-8 pm

The Marine Mammal Center, Status and Trends of Hawaiian Monk Seal Population, and an Overview of Conservation Efforts

Presented by:  Frances M. D. Gulland, Vet MB, PhD, MRCVS

Frances Gulland is a veterinarian and the Senior Scientist at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. She has been actively involved in the veterinary care and rehabilitation of stranded marine mammals and research into marine mammal diseases there since 1994. Her interests include determining the impacts of human activities on marine mammal health, and how marine mammals can in turn serve as indicators of ocean health. She received a veterinary degree from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 1984, and a PhD in Zoology there in 1991. Before moving to California in 1994, she worked as a veterinarian at the London Zoo in Regents Park, London, the as a researcher in the Serengeti. She also serves as Commissioner on the U. S. Marine Mammal Commission.

Tuesday, November 13th at the NELHA Gateway-6:30-8 pm

Monk Seals in the Main Hawaiian Islands:  Myths, Misunderstanding, and the Search for Answers

Presented by:  Charles Littnan, PhD.-Lead Scientist, Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program NOAA Fisheries Service

Hawaiian monk seal abundance has declined 60% in the last 40 years. In the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI), abundance has been increasing 6% annually over the last decade. This trend in the MHI is a positive development for the recovery of the species, but with the return of the seal has come some conflict with humans.  Much of the conflict is caused by a lack of good information making it to local communities and the perpetuation of misinformation in some circles.  Join the lead scientist of NOAA’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program while he sheds light on some of the common misconceptions regarding monk seals and discusses the ongoing research being conducted in the MHI to find solutions for a number of issues.  The presentation will cover a variety of monk seal topics and feature cutting edge science like recently collected footage from seal mounted Crittercams.

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$10,000 Donation to Moorings on Maui/Lanai

We wish to extend our warmest mahalo to Charles and Marianna Wallasch for their very generous donation of $10,000 to support day-use mooring maintenance and installation on Maui and Lanai.  This donation is a huge benefit to the Hawaii Day-Use Mooring Program that protects coral reefs from anchor damage.  It is through support from people like Charles and Marianna that help make this effort successful.  We gratefully appreciate the support as do all the marine animals that depend on healthy reefs.

Donations to the Hawaii Day-Use Mooring Program, or one of our other programs, or general support for Malama Kai Foundation are made easy and secure by clicking on the donate button and using PayPal.  Mahalo!!

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West Hawaii Fisheries Council Meeting Tomorrow

WHFC meeting tomorrow (Thursday, April 19) 6:30pm – 8:30pm at  HALE A’U KAHAKAI (Hawai’i Big Game Fishing Club).  Chad Wiggins is presiding.   Hope you can attend.

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Kauhola Point Purchased

CONGRATULATIONS to the North Kohala community for their successful efforts in purchasing Kauhola Point.  This beautiful and important historic coastal area is now conserved in perpetuity!  Malama Kai Foundation is especially proud of the exemplary efforts of Elizabeth Pickett and Tom Loomis, Co-Directors of MKF’s Ocean Warriors Program, who worked diligently with Kauhola Point users and the community in bringing together all stakeholders under a shared vision.  Congratulations and Mahalo to all the Ocean Warriors kids who played a significant role and helped make this possible.  Go Ocean Warriors!!  Mahalo to everyone!

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