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Posted: Thursday, June 27th, 2013 2:49 PM HST

Hawaii considers tighter Big Island fishing rules

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources is considering proposals to strengthen fishery regulations in waters off the Big Island's western coast.

The board is scheduled to discuss and vote on the issue Friday.

The proposals include restricting aquarium fish collecting to a list of 40 species and banning spearfishing by fishermen using scuba diving gear.

Department staffers say the proposed rules would allow officials to more effectively regulate and manage marine resources.

They say public testimony from west Hawaii County, around the state and out-of-state has overwhelmingly supported the measures.

But several fishermen are objecting, saying a scuba spearfishing ban is unwarranted and could lead to similar bans elsewhere in the state.

The fishermen also oppose changing Puako fishery management area boundaries.

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