Hosted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, a recent meeting helped inform anglers of the new Maui fishing rules.
Fishermen using Maui waters attended a meeting on Saturday hosted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources to learn more about the new Maui fishing rules.
The rules, which went into effect Nov. 1, 2014, address the size and weight limits for the uhu and goatfish harvested in Maui's waters. The Division of Conservation and Resources and the Makai Watch Community Fisheries Enforcement Unit participated in the education of anglers on the new Maui fishing rules at the meeting.
Matt Yamamoto, Maui DOCARE branch chief, told reporters the event helped to reach fishermen and answer their questions about the new rules. He also noted that the meeting was a preventative measure, as the group prefers to educate rather than issue citations to fishermen breaking the new rules.
Under the new Maui fishing rules, no more than two large uhu can be harvested, and the limit on the popular goatfish will be one. In addition, large species of fish must be at least 14 inches, and smaller species of fish need to measure 10 inches in length when harvested.
The Division of Aquatic Resources supports the new Maui fishing rules after five years of research documenting the ecology and biology of the fish populations. Now officials feel the populations of fish are healthy enough to be managed by anglers.
The meeting also gave anglers a chance to become a part of the Makai Watch program, in which volunteers assist in educating other anglers and provide surveillance on Maui's waters.
Since May 2013, 62 citations have been issued regarding offenses related to fish size and bag limits.