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Take of Pākuʻikuʻi Temporarily Prohibited Along West Coast of Hawaiʻi Island

by Thunda

Today, the State Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) approved the adoption of Hawai‘i Administrative Rule (HAR) chapter 13-60.41 to prohibit the take of pāku‘iku‘i (Achilles Tang) within the West Hawai‘i Regional Fishery Management Area (WHRFMA) on Hawai‘i Island under adaptive management rulemaking authority. This is the first time that the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has adopted rules under the new adaptive management authority, which allows the Department to approve temporary management measures in response to rapidly changing resource conditions.

In revising the rules, DAR indicated the change will allow for replenishment of the dangerously depleted pāku‘iku‘i fish population in the area as the Division works towards longer-term regulations for sustainable pāku‘iku‘i take. The new rules are set to begin December 19, 2022. The rules would be effective for a maximum of two years with the option to extend up to one year at a time upon approval by the BLNR and the Hawai‘i State Legislature.

DAR is already working with coastal communities, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to better understand pāku‘iku‘i life history traits that will support a more robust understanding of their stocks.

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