DLNR Announces Changes To Coral And Live Rock Rules

The Department of Land and Natural Resources today announced that amendments to Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapter 13-95, Rules Regulating the Taking and Selling of Certain Marine Resources, will take effect Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Kauai sediment coral die off

Kauai sediment coral die off

The purpose of the amendments is to strengthen the rules and stiffen penalties for intentional or negligent large-scale damage to stony coral and live rock, such as by vessel groundings, introduction of sediments, biological contaminants, and other pollutants. It remains unlawful for any person to take, break, or damage any stony coral or live rock. It’s also unlawful to sell stony coral or live rocks.

Coral damaged by a boat anchor. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

Coral damaged by a boat anchor. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

“These new rules tighten up the state’s ability to enforce damage to an essential habitat that provides millions of dollars in ecosystem services through fishing and tourism,” said Frazer McGilvray, administrator for the Division of Aquatic Resources.

Coral damaged by sunken or grounded vessel. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

Coral damaged by sunken or grounded vessel. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

Stony corals are defined as any species belonging to the Order Scleractinia (marine corals which generate a hard skeleton) that are native to the Hawaiian Islands. All reef corals, including mushroom corals, belong to this order.

Sewage spill on coral. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

Sewage spill on coral. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

Live rock is defined as any natural hard substrate to which marine life is visibly attached or affixed. Virtually every hard substrate in nearshore waters has something living attached to it.

The full text of the rule may be obtained online at http://state.hi.us/dlnr/dar/rules/ch95.pdf or at any Division of Aquatic Resources office.

One Response

  1. I love how instead of just saying what the changes are, they have this blob of text in which they praise their own changes, and then they just link to a 16-page PDF that doesn’t have any indications of what’s new or different.

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