Hawaii DLNR Announces Changes to Coral and Live Rock Rules

A press release from the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

Anchor on coral. Honolua Bay, Maui, HI. Credit: C. Morishige

Anchor around coral in Honolua Bay, Maui, HI. Credit: C. Morishige

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2014

DLNR ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO CORAL AND LIVE ROCK RULES

HONOLULU – 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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.
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Sewage spill impacts to live rock off Oahu. Credit: Div. of Aquatic Resources, DLNR

Sewage spill impacts to live rock off Oahu. Credit: Div. of Aquatic Resources, DLNR

Vessel damage to coral near Molokini. Credit: Div. of Aquatic

Vessel damage to coral near Molokini. Credit: Div. of Aquatic Resources, DLNR

Anchor damaged coral on Maui. Credit: Div. of Aquatic Resources, DLNR

Anchor damaged coral on Maui. Credit: Div. of Aquatic Resources, DLNR

Impacted coral on Kauai. Credit: Div. of Aquatic Resources, DLNR

Impacted coral on Kauai. Credit: Div. of Aquatic Resources, DLNR

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