Hawaii’s islands are famed for their stunning beaches and abundant marine life in the surrounding seas. Over 400 kinds of fish and 40 varieties of shark may be found in the teeming reefs and sparkling seas. Measures must be taken when necessary to conserve the ocean’s biodiversity for future generations. Hawaii took a significant conservation move by prohibiting shark fishing in state seas, which took effect in early 2022.
House Bill 553 was enacted by state lawmakers in Hawaii in 2021, although it did not take effect until the next year. In state waters, the statute safeguards all shark species. “Knowingly catch, entangle, or kill a shark in state marine waters” is now a misdemeanor. “Our Department is well aware of how vital sharks are to maintaining healthy marine ecosystems,” Brian Neilson, Administrator of the Division of Aquatic Resources, said in a statement. We also understand how important they are to native Hawaiian cultural practices and beliefs.”
Self-defense against marine predators will remain allowed, and further rules will be enacted to guarantee that the new legislation is not activated by unintentional catches. On approval, special permits to fish for sharks will be provided, with “native Hawaiian cultural practice, size and species limits, and a prohibition on species designated as endangered or threatened” all being taken into account. The fishing gear permitted in shark breeding regions may also be regulated under a new administrative framework based on House Bill 553. For the time being, fisherman are urged to stay away from shark-infested regions and to cut sharks loose if they become entangled. Violations of the legislation can result in fines of up to $10,000, therefore this is a conservation law with fangs.
The state of Hawaii has outlawed shark fishing in state seas, while licenses for specific operations will be available.
h/t: [World Animal News]