Maui News

Lobster and Kona Crab Season Closes May 1

April 27, 2016, 1:07 PM HST
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Season closed on Lobster and Kona Crab. Graphics by Wendy Osher. Lobster image DLNR.

Season closed on Lobster and Kona Crab. Graphics by Wendy Osher. Lobster image DLNR.

The season for fresh-caught local lobster and Kona crab, ends this Sunday.

The closed season for ula (spiny lobster), ula papapa (slipper lobster) and Kona crab runs from May 1 through the end of August. During that time it’s illegal to take, possess, or sell these shellfish.

Suzanne Case, chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources said, “These rules are in place to protect lobsters and Kona crabs during the summer months, which are the peak of their reproductive season, and to help ensure their populations will continue to be sustainable.”

While the season is closed, any commercial marine dealer 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 obtaining a license to do so (pursuant to section 13-74-41, Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules).

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

During the open season catching, taking or possessing of female spiny and slipper lobsters and female Kona crab is prohibited. Also, any spiny or slipper lobster, or Kona crab, caught with eggs must immediately be returned to the waters from which it was taken. Taking or killing of females is prohibited year round.

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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 regulations are also available on the Division of Aquatic Resources website.

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The site also has information on regulations concerning these and other marine invertebrates, including minimum sizes.

To report any violation of these or other fishing regulations call the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement at (808) 643-DLNR.

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