KOLOA LANDING A NO-TAKE ZONE
Divers, fishermen unite to establish voluntary marine protection area
KOLOA — Kauai’s first voluntary marine protected area is now at Koloa Landing, meaning that divers and fishermen have agreed not to remove aquarium fish and eels from the reef.
And while some are hailing it as the first step toward preservation of the area, others say it’s unnecessary.
“The commitment is voluntary and there is no government enforcement,” said Scott Bacon, one of the organizers of the effort, in a news release to TGI.
He continued: “It is for the protection of the reef and the continued education of Kauai’s visitors.”
Now, below a sign dubbing the landing a voluntary marine protected area, is another sign reading:
“The ocean users of Koloa Landing have agreed to not take aquarium fish and eels from this area. We hope you respect this area and leave the aquarium fish, small coral reef fish and eels to swim freely for us to watch.”
The designation comes in the shadow of the state moratorium on commercial aquarium fishing permits. Recreational aquarium fishing doesn’t require a permit, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources.
That’s one of the reasons the designation is useless in the opinion of divers like Ron Tubbs, owner of the Hawaii saltwater aquarium fish company RT Distributors.
“Seems protected areas — from aquarium fishermen — do not matter at
Some local divers say the number of Hawaiian dragon moray eels seen at Koloa Landing has diminished in recent years.