Proposed Rule to Establish Time-Area Closures of Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins Essential Habitats in the Main Hawaiian Islands
NOAA Fisheries announces a proposed rule to establish time-area closures at five sites in the main Hawaiian Islands. The proposed rule would establish mandatory time-area closures of Hawaiian spinner dolphins’ essential daytime habitats from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily in areas of Kealakekua Bay, Hōnaunau Bay, Kauhakō Bay (Ho‘okena), and Makako Bay on Hawai‘i Island, and La Perouse Bay on Maui. NOAA Fisheries is accepting comments on the proposed rule through December 27, 2021. A virtual public hearing on the proposed rule is scheduled December 9, 2021.
Concurrent with the publication of this proposed rule, NOAA Fisheries published a final rule (86 FR 5381) that prohibits swimming with and approaching a Hawaiian spinner dolphin within 50 yards (for persons, vessels, and objects) including approach by interception. This final rule applies within 2 nautical miles from shore of the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) and in designated waters bounded by the islands of Lānaʻi, Maui, and Kahoʻolawe.