Annual lay net permits required under new rules approved today

Fishers throughout Hawaii will need to obtain permits from the Department of Land and Natural Resources to use lay nets in state waters after a decision by the Board of Land and Natural Resources today.

The BLNR approved new rules for the DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources that will regulate the use of lay nets, fishing nets left suspended in the water to passively catch fish.

DAR initially proposed new rules regarding the nets — which can entangle and kill other marine life in the process — last year, which included a $25 permit fee. However, following significant pushback from community members, the new rules withhold the fee for residents, military personnel and their family members. Nonresidents will still be charged the $25.

Under the new rules, lay net permits will be awarded annually, while the previous need to register individual lay nets has been removed. It is also now illegal to leave lay nets or gill nets unattended in the water for any amount of time, and violators of any of these rules could have their equipment or vessel seized by the state as a penalty.

The new rules also amend the definitions of certain species and other terminology to make them consistent with other rules.

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