Spearfishing using scuba now banned off West Hawaii
Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed new rules banning scuba spearfishing in waters of West Hawaii.
The new rules apply in the West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area, which is about 147 miles from Upolu Point, North Kohala to Ka Lae, Kau. The rules:
1. prohibit take or possession of nine species of inshore sharks, rays and two invertebrate crown-of-thorns predators;
2. establish a list of 40 fish species permitted for aquarium take with size and bag limits on three of these species (No other fish may be collected for aquarium use);
3. establish a 1,500-foot section of Kaohe Bay (Pebble Beach) in South Kona as a Fish Replenishment Area (FRA) where aquarium collecting and/or recreational fish feeding is prohibited;
4. prohibit scuba and/or re-breather spear fishing or possession of such gear with a spear and/or speared aquatic life;
5. clarify the boundaries of Puako Bay and Puako Reef; and
6. clarify the no-netting boundaries of the Keauhou Bay Fisheries Management Area.