Decision delayed on protecting Niihau areas - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Decision delayed on protecting Niihau areas

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LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - State officials will delay consideration of adding coastal and nearshore areas of Niihau to the Hawaiian Island Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources was scheduled to consider a request this week to delegate authority to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for a memorandum of agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Niihau Ranch, LLC.

Sanctuary state co-manager Elia Herman says the Department of Land and Natural Resources decided to defer the proposal to do more community outreach.

The Garden Island reports the proposal has raised concerns.

State Sen. Ron Kouchi says the public process regarding the memorandum of understanding was deficient.

Fishermen say protecting waters around the privately owned island could mean a loss of fishing rights.

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