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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 9:10 a.m., Thursday, December 28, 2006

New law bans limu removal from 'Ewa area

Advertiser Staff

A new law that takes effect Monday makes it unlawful for any person to take limu from the 'Ewa Limu Management Area. The law, Act 241, was signed by Governor Lingle on June 26.

Its purpose is to preserve and sustain the limu supply by establishing a limu management area along the shoreline of 'Ewa beach on O'ahu. It amends Chapter 188, Hawai'i Revised Statutes, by adding a new section that establishes a limu management area from the 'Ewa shoreline that extends 150 feet seaward from the gunnery range to the boat ramp on Mu'umu'u St.

"The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) supported this legislation, which was developed over several years with the involvement of the 'Ewa Beach community in a public process," said Peter Young, DLNR chairman.

"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. 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," Young said.

Starting Monday, the prohibition will be in effect through the first six months of 2010.

Under the new law, no person, including anyone with a commercial fishing license, shall pick, gather, harvest or otherwise take limu from within the limu management area, starting Monday. However, a person who has obtained a special permit from DLNR may pick limu for purposes of replanting only.

DLNR's Division of Aquatic Resources is working with the 'Ewa community to post signs at 'Ewa beach to inform the public about the new law.