POSTED: 10:01 a.m. HST, May 31, 2012
HILO >> The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing banning scuba spearfishing in West Hawaii.
The state also proposes placing additional regulations on collecting aquarium fish.
Both efforts are meant to help sustain the area's reef fish population.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the rules would only apply to nearly 150 miles of shoreline from South Point to Upolu Point in North Kohala.
A public hearing will be held in the summer, with a decision possible by the fall.
The rules would make it illegal to be in possession of scuba gear, speared fish and spears at the same time. Spearfishing from the shore or by free-diving would not be affected.
The Hawaiian Islands are one of the few places in the Pacific Ocean where scuba spearfishing is allowed.