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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 2:25 p.m., Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New law establishes management area for limu

Associated Press

Limu gatherers need to take heed of a new law that bans collecting seaweed from an area off `Ewa Beach on O`ahu until 2010.

The law that goes into effect Jan. 1 is aimed at preserving the local supply of limu, the Hawaiian word for seaweed, of which there are numerous varieties in the waters surrounding the islands.

Limu is a key ingredient in a variety of salad-like side dishes and in the popular local marinated raw fish dish, limu poke.

The preserved area extends 150 feet into the ocean from the gunnery range to the boat ramp on Mu`umu`u Place.

"The community told us that they noticed the limu population of native seaweeds — such as ogo and limu manauea — was decreasing, due to heavy picking pressure," said Peter Young, chairman of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

"We worked with these residents to establish a management area and a plan to give the resources a break for several years to regenerate. After that, seasons will be allowed during the year during which limu can be picked. The rest of the year will be a closed season," he said.

The ban will stay in effect through the first six months of 2010. After that time, collectors would be allowed to pick up to one pound of limu each day during July, November and December. Picking would be banned during all other months.