Feasibility of a Non-Commercial Marine Fishing Registry, Permit, or License System in Hawaii

Following six meetings earlier this year, the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has received a report from a group of experts and organizations with interest in establishing non-commercial fishing licenses in Hawaii’i.

Click to read the study

Click to read the study

The independent group studied the potential benefits and impacts of different forms of a non-commercial marine fishing registry, permit, or license system.  Participants in the meetings, held between May and November, included the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council, Conservation International, fisheries resources managers, experts, and representatives from different fishing organizations and interest groups.

The study group interviewed fisheries managers from other coastal states, conducted a detailed economic feasibility analysis, and consulted with legal experts, including an expert in native Hawaiian law.

According to DAR Administrator Dr. Bruce Anderson, “This group specifically focused on the ability of a potential system to meet three primary fishery objectives.”  This includes providing additional and more robust data to support fisheries management; to foster more dialogue between fishers and managers; and to create a continuous source of independent funding to support effective fisheries management.  In expressing the DLNR’s appreciation to the members of the study group, Anderson wrote, “It is indeed a thorough and well-researched document.  We are impressed with the way all the members worked together throughout the project.

While Study Group members did not hesitate to express divergent views, their comments were always intended to be constructive. I believe the final report reflects this spirit of cooperation and collaboration as well as the dedication and hard work of all members.  Every member certainly has a great passion and appreciation of the value of our marine resources.”

Anderson concluded, “We look forward to getting comments from a broad range of stakeholders before making such a decision on what option is preferred. Undoubtedly, this report will generate considerable discussion and serve as a valuable reference for all those interested in this issue.”

The Division of Aquatic Resources has received the Final Report from the Study Group for the Feasibility of a Non-Commercial Marine Fishing Registry, Permit, or License System for Hawai‘i.  The Study Group was jointly convened by Conservation International Hawai‘i and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, and consisted of fisheries resource managers, experts, and representatives from various fishing organizations and interest groups.  The Study Group examined the potential benefits and impacts of different forms of a non-commercial marine fishing registry, permit, or license system and specifically focused on the ability of such as system to meet three primary fishery management objectives: (1) provide additional and more robust data to support fisheries management, (2) foster more two-way dialogue between fishers and managers, and (3) create sources of independent, continuous funding to support effective fisheries management and enforcement.  The process included interviews with fisheries managers from other coastal states, a detailed economic feasibility analysis, and consultation with legal experts, including an expert in native Hawaiian law.

The final report and supporting appendices can be downloaded below. All are pdf files under 1 MB except where noted.

Final Report (6.2 MB)
Executive Summary (3.6 MB)
Appendix A – Charter of Commitments (1.4 MB)
Appendix B – Coastal States & Territories Comparison Matrix
Appendix C – List of Listening Sessions Between Study Group Meetings
Appendix D – Comparison of Non-commercial Marine Fishing Regulation Systems in States Similar to Hawaii
Appendix E – Overview of Hawaii Legal Considerations for Potential Systems to Regulate Non-commercial Marine Fishing
Appendix F – Table of Provisions on the Right to Fish from Other States
Appendix G – Hawaii’s Traditional and Customary Rights Impact Analysis of Potential Systems to Regulate Non-commercial Marine Fishing (19.9 MB)
Appendix H – Financial Impact Analysis of Potential Systems to Regulate Non-commercial Marine Fishing
Appendix I – Personal Statements from Study Group Members

Fisherman Pleads Guilty to Multiple Fishing Violations

A Hau‘ula fisherman pled no contest on Sept. 26, 2013, to multiple fishing violations in Kane‘ohe District Court and was sentenced to 213 hours of community service work, in lieu of a $1,500 fine, plus one year of probation.

Travis K. Fonoimoana, 34, was cited by a Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officer on Feb. 2, 2013, on the shoreline in Punalu‘u for violating Hawai‘i Administrative Rules (HAR) 13-75-12.4(a)(2)(B) relating to laynets, HAR 13-95-10 for ‘O‘io, and HAR 13-95-23(a) for Moi.

Illegal length and mesh size net. DOCARE photo.

Illegal length and mesh size net. DOCARE photo.

He was found possessing and using four laynets longer than 125 feet in length and with less than 2 ¾ inches stretched mesh, as well as for taking several ‘o‘io under 14 inches and several moi under 11 inches — which are the minimum legal sizes.

Undersized fish. Photo by DOCARE.

Undersized fish. Photo by DOCARE.

The state asked that the fisherman’s laynets be destroyed, but the Kane‘ohe District Court judge returned it to the owner with a warning that he must comply with the terms and conditions of probation.

For more information on fishing regulations, refer to DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources’ website located at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar.

“Enforcement of laynet use is crucial in DLNR’s mission to ensure the sustainability of marine resources through compliance with state rules in Hawaiian waters, and to ensure that endangered species are not harmed,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.


Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament Results Announced

More than 400 keiki, adults and kupuna anglers competed in the Department of Parks and Recreation’s 17th Annual Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament held August 16-18.

Fishing poles, reels, coolers and other fishing-related prizes were awarded to the top finishers in each division, including the Ohana team division.

Men’s Division winner Kahana Itozaki is shown with his 53-pound ulua.

Men’s Division winner Kahana Itozaki is shown with his 53-pound ulua.

Kahana Itozaki landed the largest fish of the tournament, an ulua that weighed 53 pounds 4.8 ounces, to win the Men’s Division. Other species measured during Sunday’s weigh-in included papio, nenue and omilu fishes.

Prizes were awarded to the following competitors:



  1. Itozaki, Kahana Ulua 53 4.8
  2. Ignacio, Michael L. Ulua 44 0
  3. Cypriano, Wayne Ulua 41 0
  4. Johnathan, Kahakua Ulua 23 4.8
  5. Ogawa, Jordan Awa 11 12.8
  6. Kosinski, Chad Omilu 7 9.6
  7. Ventura, Lopaka Nenue 2 14.4
  8. Barawis, Zerek Toau 1 15.9
  9. Moniz, Justin Roi 1 14.6
  10. Rivera, Franklin Toau 1 11.9
  11. Nakamura, Kurt Mu 1 11.9
  12. Mock, Anthony Omilu 1 9.2
  13. Barawis, Zyman Papio 1 6.6
  14. Alameida, Clarence Hinalea 1 4.5
  15. Sugimoto, Aaron Nenue 0 15.7



  1. Ramos, Andylynn Ulua 12 8
  2. Leon, Monae Omilu 9 3.2
  3. Galapir, Kiry Omilu 4 14.4
  4. Kailiuli, Joymarie Ahaaha 4 1.6
  5. Franco, Shaena Aawa 2 12.4
  6. Kow, Candance Hinalea 2 2.1
  7. Tanaka, Amy Nenue 2 1.6
  8. Franco, Keani Roi 2 0.6
  9. Shiroma, Chantee Nenue 1 9
  10. Decoito, Lisa Hagi 1 5.3
  11. Yamamoto, Chelsey Hagi 1 4.7
  12. Moniz, Avlyn Alaihi 1 2.9
  13. Reyes, Kaula Hagi 1 2.8
  14. Viernes, Brendalyn Hagi 1 2.1
  15. Matsumoto, Kahea Nenue 0 15.3



  1. Llanes, Reuben Nenue 4 14.1
  2. Figueroa, Stanley Kala 3 7
  3. James, Reynolds Awa 2 15.9
  4. Kaneo, Robert Papoou 2 3.5
  5. Carvalho, Josephe Awa 2 1.2
  6. Zimdars, Susan Papoou 1 15.9
  7. Bello, Theresa Nenue 1 11.2
  8. Uehana, Eric Nenue 1 11.2
  9. Alverez, Barney Papio 1 9
  10. Sugimoto, Doris Nenue 1 7.9
  11. Barkley, William Nenue 1 6.9
  12. Toizman, Terry Toau 1 6.8



  1. Datuin, Kysen Ulua 22 14.4
  2. Alcosiba, Braven Ulua 14 14
  3. Deguchi-Kahakua, Johnathan Omilu 12 8
  4. Carvalho, Kaela Papio 4 14.4
  5. Losalio, Sam Kala 4 4.5
  6. Shigematsu, Kyler Papio 3 13.1
  7. Batin, Shyrome Papio 2 15.1
  8. Salboro, Wesley Toau 2 9.4
  9. Uehana, Riley Nenue 2 7.1
  10. Arraujo, Louis Hinalea 2 7
  11. Losalio, Johnathan Palani 2 6.4
  12. Matsuda, Keoni Nenue 2 5.8



  1. Caberto, Mikyla Ulua 10 11.2
  2. Cazimero, O’shen Omilu 7 14.2
  3. Evangelista, Zachary Omilu 5 5.3
  4. Batin, Bransyn Mu 4 5.4
  5. Roque-Lewis, Dreg’n Roi 3 7.8
  6. Batin, Shayson Omilu 3 4.2
  7. Pascual, Cameron Papio 3 1.1
  8. Holt, Jacob Table Boss 2 15.7
  9. Sue, Kalawaiakuikaika Nenue 2 7.5
  10. Barawis, Dayhtan Nenue 2 6.6
  11. Hisashima, Keahi Nenue 2 6.6
  12. Carvalho-Rivera, Hailey Roi 2 5.5
  13. Caravalho, Skyler Moana Kale 2 4.2


  1. Caberto, Shenna Lou   45 fish
  2. Kaneo, Sandra         19 fish
  3. Barawis, Zerek              15 fish



1.  Madrid, Juslynn    2          10.2

Souza, Noeau

Madrid, Magdalena

2.   Barawis, Zyman   2          9.9

Barawis, Dayhtan

3.   Matsuda, Dennis   2          9.3

Matsuda, Alakai

Tavares-Matsuda, Onipaa

4.    Aoki, Justin                      2          2.7

Aoki, Justice

5.    Arase, Danny, Sr.            2          2

Arase, Danny, Jr.

6.    Matsuda, Kenika 2          0.8

Matsuda, Keoni

Neves, Haaheo

7.    Sato, Titus                        1          14.5

Sato, Talus

Mendoza, Teodorico

8.    Perez, Ayzen        1          14.4

Perez, Ethan

Perez, Koa

Yamamoto, Chelsey

9.    Davis, Keli’i, Sr.  1          13.8

Davis, Keli’i, Jr.

Davis, Kamaile

Davis, Kaolena

10.  Reyes, Kaula       1          13.5

Akana, Kaula

Akana, Tiani

11. Santos, Laukoa     1          13.1

Nakamura, Kurt

Nakamura, Taylor

12.   Batin, Sheldon           1    12.9

Batin, Shayson

Batin, Shyrome

13.   Harrison, Adam, Jr.             1    12.5

Harrison, Briana

14.   Alameida, Clarence              1    11.8

Opamin, Toni

15.   Caberto, Shenna Lou    1           11.6

         Caberto, Mikyla                       

Huge Fish Capsizes Boat Off Kauai

A 54-year-old man was rescued from his capsized vessel approximately 10 miles southwest of Port Allen, Kauai, Friday.

A huge fish capsized this boat. Coast Guard rescuers were able to upright the boat.

A huge fish capsized this boat. Coast Guard rescuers were able to upright the boat.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a distress call at 7:41 a.m., from Wichman’s spouse notifying watchstanders that her husband’s 14-foot Livingston boat was capsized south of Port Allen. Wichman was fishing in the area when he hooked a 230 lb. Ahi that subsequently capsized his boat. When his boat capsized, his leg was caught in the fishing line and he was dragged underwater. After freeing himself, he was able to get on top of the hull and call his wife for help. Sector Honolulu was able to establish communication with Wichman via cell phone and launched a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Kauai and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to the scene.

The Dolphin crew arrived on scene and found Wichman sitting on the hull of his partially submerged vessel. A Coast Guard rescue swimmer was lowered to the water and hoisted Wichman into the helicopter. Sector Honolulu and Station Kauai coordinated with Lihue Airport and local emergency medical personnel to arrange for medical transport to Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

The MLB crew stayed on scene with the capsized vessel until Jordon Ornellas and Abraham Apilado, friends of Wichman arrived on scene with a vessel to help salvage his boat. While assessing the situation to determine if they could right the capsized vessel, Ornellas and Apilado realized that the Ahi was still hooked on the fishing line attached the vessel. They were able to reel in the Ahi, right the vessel and take it in tow back to Port Allen.

The fish that didn't get away!

The fish that didn’t get away!

“This rescue is a perfect example of why mariners must be sure they have good safety equipment and reliable communications before heading out on the water,” said Lt. Jessica Mickelson, Sector Honolulu’s Public Affairs Officer.  “Thankfully Mr. Wichman was still able to use his cell phone after capsizing and entering the water. Sector Honolulu was able to work in conjunction with 911 dispatch to get a GPS position of the capsized vessel from Mr. Wichman’s cell phone enabling Coast Guard rescue crews to arrive on scene at the exact location of distress instead of having to conduct a search. At the end of the day, we couldn’t have asked for a better rescue. Mr. Wichman was delivered safely to shore with minimal injuries and he and his friends will have quite the indisputable fish tale to tell.”

The Coast Guard recommends all mariners ensure they are prepared before heading out on the water. This includes having appropriate safety and communications equipment, checking local weather conditions and ensuring the vessel is seaworthy. For more information on boating safety visit www.uscgboating.org.

For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District Public Affairs Office at (808) 535-3230.

Hawaii to Receive Over $6.7 Million for Fish and Wildlife Conservation/Recreation Projects

More than $882.4 million in excise tax revenues generated in 2012 by sportsmen and sportswomen will be distributed to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to fund fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects across the nation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.

Hawaii's share

Hawaii’s share

These funds are made available to all 50 states and territories through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs. Revenues come from excise taxes generated by the sale of sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment and tackle, and electric outboard motors. Recreational boaters also contribute to the program through fuel taxes on motorboats and small engines.

“The sporting community has provided the financial and spiritual foundation for wildlife conservation in America for more than 75 years,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “Through these programs, hunters, anglers, recreational boaters and target shooters continue to fund vital fish and wildlife management and conservation, recreational boating access, and hunter and aquatic education programs.”

“The financial support from America’s hunting, shooting sports, fishing and boating community through their purchases of excise taxable equipment and hunting and fishing licenses is the lifeblood for funding fish and wildlife conservation; supporting public safety education; and opening access for outdoor recreation that benefits everyone,” said Jeff Vonk, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. “Fish and wildlife can be conserved, protected and restored through science-based management and it is critical that all these taxes collected be apportioned to advance conservation efforts in the field.”

The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program apportionment for 2013 totals $522.5 million. The Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program apportionment for 2013 totals $359.9 million. As a result of the statutorily required sequester, these apportionments have been reduced by 5.1 percent, or approximately $39.2 million. Additional Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration grant funding to the states has also been reduced, for a total sequestration-related reduction of approximately $44 million.

The Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program reimburses up to 75 percent of the cost of each eligible project while state fish and wildlife agencies contribute a minimum of 25 percent, generally using hunting and fishing license revenues as the required non-Federal match.

Funding is paid by manufacturers, producers, and importers, and distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program to each state and territory. For information on funding for each state, visit http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2013/pdf/Master_apport_table_Final_2013.pdf.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs have generated a total of more than $15.3 billion since their inception – in 1937 in the case of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program, and 1950 for the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program – to conserve fish and wildlife resources. The recipient fish and wildlife agencies have matched these program funds with more than $5.1 billion. This funding is critical to sustaining healthy fish and wildlife populations and providing opportunities for all to connect with nature.

Please visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program website at http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/ for more information on the goals and accomplishments of these programs and for individual state, commonwealth, and territorial funding allocations.

Kona Historical Society’s Hanohano ‘O Kona Lecture Series Presents “Spearfishing and the Evolution of Freediving”

“Spearfishing and the Evolution of Freediving” are the subjects of speaker Richard “Sonny” Tanabe in the fourth free monthly presentation in Kona Historical Society’s Hanohano ‘O Kona -Honoring Kona Lecture Series. Scheduled for Wednesday, April 25, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Tanabe’s talk takes place at West Hawai‘i Civic Center, where Kealakehe Parkway intersects with Ane Keohokālole Highway.

A self-described “barefoot boy from the island of Hawai‘i,” Tanabe began his swimming career by free diving with his uncle off the coast of Hilo. Soon his father persuaded him to participate in the activities of Hilo Aquatic Club coached by Sparky Kawamoto. Tanabe was an All-America swimmer at Hilo High School and Indiana University, where he earned NCAA and AAU honors. He won a spot on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team that participated in the 1956 Melbourne Games.

After serving in the military and returning to Indiana University to earn an MS in Physical Education, he became Assistant Aquatic Director and Swim Coach for Hinsdale Township High School in Hinsdale, Ill. It wasn’t too long, however, before he came home to Hawai‘i to teach and coach for more than 33 years at Kamehameha Schools.

In addition to his commitment to competitive swimming, Tanabe has enjoyed spear fishing and free diving all his life, recently writing books about each of them. He has also given back to the world of aquatics by volunteering his talent and time to various organizations and competitions connected with water sports.

The Hanohano ‘O Kona – Honoring Kona Lecture Series is hosted by the County of Hawai‘i.

Wicky Wacky Hukilau Hula Luau – Huggo’s Wahine Tournament Looking for Wahine

Media Release:

The Sixteenth Annual Huggo’s Wahine Tournament is set for Saturday, July 30th. Hawaii’s only all-women tournament is looking for wahine (women) anglers for its legendary tournament of fun, sun and of course, great fishing along the Kona coast. Entry fee is $400 per team and includes 4 anglers, captain and crew aboard some of Kona’s legendary charter boat fleet.

This year’s tournament is themed “Wicky Wacky Hukilau Hula Luau.” Huggo’s Wahine Tournament anglers and teams are encouraged to don the most outlandish, vintage or contemporary hula luau attire and get ready to hula!

The Tournament is held annually as a fundraiser for non-profit community organizations, this year the Family Support Services of West Hawaii will benefit. This event has a special camaraderie among the all-women teams and this worthwhile community organization. Over the past years more than $97,000.00 has been donated to charity.

Huggo’s Wahine Tournament teams compete for cash and prizes with the team scoring the most points during Saturday’s tournament taking home the bragging rights and great prizes. The tournament gives valuable scoreboard points for Pacific Blue marlin tagged and released under 300 pounds and points for fish boated over 300 pounds.

Entry forms are available for the first 75 teams. Interested wahine can pick up entry forms at Huggo’s Restaurant, The Charter Desk at Honokohau Harbor and Pacific Rim Fishing Supplies. Kona has boated some very large fish this year, and we expect some red HOT fishing action for the ladies!

“The Huggo’s Wahine Tournament is one of the largest ladies fishing tournament in the world,” angler Sue Vermillion says, “The volunteers have so much fun planning the tournament, and the proceeds go to such a good cause, it’s a win-win event for everybody involved.”

The tournament briefing will be held at Huggo’s “On the Rocks” bar on Friday July 29th starting at 6:00 pm.  The full day of fishing starts Saturday July 30th at 8:00 am, from Kailua Bay. The weigh-ins will be held at the Fuel Dock/ Charter Desk located at Honokohau Harbor at 4:00 pm after the call of stop fishing. The public is welcome to attend the weigh-ins.  The Awards Banquet will be held at Huggo’s “On the Rocks” bar on Sunday July 31 at 6:00 pm.

Team entries are limited.  Hurry, entry forms are due no later than July 28. Entry forms can be down loaded at www.huggos.com or picked up at Huggo’s Restaurant, Pacific Rim Fishing Tackle, The Charter Desk located at Honokohau Harbor.

For more information call 329-2840 or log on to huggos.com