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Closed season for moi begins June 1

By Staff | May 28, 2015

HONOLULU – The state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) reminds the public that the moi fishing season is closed beginning Monday, June 1.

DLNR also noted that the season for taking ula and ula papapa (spiny and slipper lobsters) and Kona crabs in state waters is closed this month through the end of August.

State regulations make it unlawful for any person to take, possess or sell any moi during June, July and August.

“Moi is one of Hawaii’s most significant fish species from a cultural perspective,” said Suzanne Case, DLNR chairperson. “At one time it was reserved only for royalty. Today we still value it as one of our most sought-after reef fishes.”

“The closed season helps sustain moi populations by protecting them during the critical summer spawning period,” she continued.

The early Hawaiians also placed a kapu (prohibition) on certain fish during their spawning season as a conservation measure.

“We ask for the fishing public’s help in complying with the closed season,” added Case. “If we are to have fish for the future, we need to share the responsibility and take care of our ocean resources.”

During the open season from September through May, the minimum size for moi is 11 inches, and the bag limit for possession and/or sale is 15.

However, a commercial marine dealer may possess and sell more than 15 moi during the open season with receipts issued for the purchase.

Copies of Hawaii’s fishing regulations are available at DLNR’s Aquatic Resources offices, most fishing supply stores and online at dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/fishing/fishing-regulations/.

Hawaii Administrative Rules prohibit the taking, killing, sale or offering for sale, or possession of any spiny lobster or slipper lobster from state waters during the closed season that started May 1.

It is also illegal to take, possess or sell Kona crab during May through August.

“These rules are in place to protect lobsters and Kona crabs during the summer months, which are the peak of their reproductive season, and to help ensure their populations will continue to be sustainable,” said Case.

However, any commercial marine dealer may sell, or any hotel, restaurant or other public eating house may serve spiny or slipper lobster lawfully caught during the open season by first procuring a license to do so pursuant to section 13-74-41, Hawaii Administrative Rules.

During the open season, catching, taking or possessing of female spiny and slipper lobsters and female Kona crab is prohibited as a result of the passage of Act 77 by the 2006 State Legislature.

Also, during the open season any spiny or slipper lobster, or Kona crab, caught with eggs must immediately be returned to the waters from which it was taken. Taking or killing of females is prohibited year-round.

The Hawaii Fishing Regulations booklet, available at all Division of Aquatic Resources offices and most fishing supply stores, shows how to determine the sex of spiny lobsters and Kona crabs. The information is available online at dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/fishing/fishing-regulations/marine-invertebrates/how-to-determine-sex-of-regulated-invertebrates/.

For more information on regulations concerning these and other marine invertebrates, including minimum sizes, go to dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/fishing/fishing-regulations/marine-invertebrates/ or call the Division of Aquatic Resources.

To report any violation of these or other fishing regulations, call the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement at 643-DLNR.