By web staff
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (KITV) – Shark fishing in Hawaii will be banned in Hawaii in 2022.
Passed in the last legislative session, Bill 51 (House Bill 533) prohibits anyone from knowingly capturing, entangling or killing any species of shark in Hawaiian waters.
“We are well aware of the importance of sharks in maintaining healthy marine ecosystems. We also recognize their importance in Indigenous Hawaiian cultural beliefs and practices, ”said Brian Neilson, Administrator of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources (DLNR).
Offenders would be charged with a misdemeanor and could be fined $ 500 for a first offense and up to $ 10,000 for repeat offenses. This fine applies to each shark caught or killed. Violators could also have their commercial marine license, vessel and fishing gear seized and / or suspended.
If a shark is accidentally caught, authorities say fishermen should avoid bringing it onto the vessel if possible. To release it, cut the line as securely as possible near the shark’s mouth.
However, the new law does not apply in the following circumstances:
• Persons holding a special activity permit issued by the DLNR
• Shark fishing for public safety purposes authorized or conducted by DLNR
• Sharks taken outside State marine waters, with required documentation
• Sharks captured, entangled or killed for self-defense or the defense of others
• Sharks caught or killed according to a permit issued by DLNR
Neilson says that even though the law is due to go into effect on January 1, there is still work to be done before it is fully implemented. And the DLNR can adopt business rules to help with implementation.
Under Law 51, the conditions of non-commercial permits for the capture of sharks “will include a native Hawaiian cultural protocol, size and species restrictions, and a ban on species listed as endangered or threatened.”
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