Urge DAR: No Shark Fishing Permits in Hawaii

The Hawai’i Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) is seeking input into development of a permit system for shark fishing. In June of 2021, House Bill (HB) 553 was signed into law making it illegal for a person to knowingly capture or kill any shark while in state marine waters. While targeting sharks in state waters is now effectively banned, HB 553 specifies that the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) may issue non-commercial permits allowing the take of sharks subject to permit conditions.

The nature of those conditions was not specified.

The purpose of this survey is to provide preliminary insight into how Hawai‘i’s non-commercial fishing community views this potential exception, and how those interested in such a permit would intend to use it.

Shark Stewards supported HB 553 to protect sharks, increase ecological function on Hawai’i reefs and increase tourism potential.

Conservationists and Native Hawaiian leaders are praising this landmark bill passed by the State in June 2021, that lays out criminal and civil penalties for knowingly capturing or killing sharks within state waters.  

Most species of large shark (Manō) populations have declined in Hawaiian waters. Some, like grey reef and the oceanic whitetip are critically endangered.

Shark Stewards is asking the Hawai’i Division of Aquatic Resources to follow the intent of HB 553 and only allow permits to fish sharks for valid scientific study, Hawaiian cultural practices and in extreme cases, for public safety.

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