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New lay net rules to be discussed

The Department of Land and Natural Resources will hold a statewide hearing to discuss amendments to state laws regarding lay nets.

The new lay net rules, as drafted by the DLNR after authorization by a law passed earlier this year, would establish an annual $25 permit fee for the use of lay nets, which are fishing nets left suspended in the water to passively catch fish.

Such nets can entangle and kill other species in the process, including monk seals and sea turtles.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources approved on Friday a hearing about the new rules to be held at date yet to be determined. In doing so, the board also required additional amendments to the lay net rules, including clarifications that permitted fishermen can only use one lay net at a time, and that surround nets — nets that completely enclose a space — are always supervised by their users.

The hearing also will discuss additional proposed amendments, including additional legal definitions for various fishing terms, rules prohibiting the use of firearms to take sharks, and more.

“Unlike a registration, a permit is revocable,” said Brian Neilson, administrator of the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources, on Friday. “So, under the existing rules, if someone is convicted of a lay net violation, there is no way to prohibit them from registering and using a new lay net.”
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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