Maui News

Closed Season on Lobster and Kona Crab

May 10, 2011, 8:45 AM HST
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By Wendy Osher

The closed season in Hawaii for Ula (Spiny lobster), Ula papapa (Slipper lobster), and Kona crab is May through August. Image courtesy Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources.

The closed season for spiny and slipper lobsters and Kona Crabs began this month in state waters. The closed season extends through the end of August. During this time, taking, killing, sale, or possession of any spiny lobster (ula), slipper lobster (ula papapa), or Kona crab is prohibited in state waters.

DLNR Chairperson, William Aia Jr. said the rules are in place to protect the species during the summer months, which are the peak of their reproductive season, and to help ensure their populations will continue to be sustainable.

Commercial marine dealers may sell, or any hotel, restaurant, or other public eating house may serve spiny or slipper lobster lawfully caught during the “open” season, by first procuring a license to do so (pursuant to section 13-74-41, Hawaii Administrative Rules).

The taking, catching or possession of female species is prohibited year-round as a result of the passage of Act 77 by the 2006 State Legislature.


The Hawai‘i Fishing Regulations booklet, available at all Division of Aquatic Resources offices and most fishing supply stores, shows how to determine the sex of spiny lobsters and Kona crabs. The information is also available online at


Violation of these or other fishing regulations should be reported to the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement at 643-DLNR.

*** Supporting information courtesy State of Hawai’i, Department of Land and Natural Resources.

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