State mulls West Hawaii scuba spearfishing ban

Published On: Jun 28 2013 01:56:00 PM HST

Scuba spear fishing is a heated issue which has divided West Hawaii residents and fishermen. After hours of testimony the Department of Land and Natural Resources has voted on a possible scuba spear fishing ban along the entire Kona Coast.

HONOULU -

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources is considering steps that would strengthen fishing rules in waters off West Hawaii.
    
The board will consider several rules at a meeting in Honolulu on Friday.  The proposals include banning spearfishing by scuba divers and only allowing 40 species to be collected for the aquarium fish trade.
    
Another proposal would update the boundaries of Puako fish management area to reflect information newly learned from satellite images of the reef.
    
Department staffers are recommending that the board adopt the rules. They say the measures will allow officials to more effectively regulate and manage of marine resources.
    
But several fishermen oppose key proposals. They say a scuba spearfishing prohibition is unwarranted. They worry such a rule would lead to similar bans elsewhere in Hawaii.

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