Hawaii's Lobster and Knoa Crab season to close May 1
HONOLULU – The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) reminds the public that the season for taking ula and ula papapa (spiny and slipper lobsters) and Kona crabs in state waters will be closed starting on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. The closed season extends through the end of August.
Hawaii Administrative Rules prohibit the taking, killing, sale or offering for sale, or possession of any ula, also known as spiny lobster (Panulirus penicillatus, P. marginatus) and ula papapa or slipper lobster (Scyllarides squammosus, S. haanii) from state waters during the closed season.
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 William J. Aila, Jr. DLNR chairperson.
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 Hawai‘i 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. Or go online to http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/regulated_fish_invert.html
For more information on regulations concerning these and other marine invertebrates, including minimum sizes, go to http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/regulated_fish_mia.html 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.