The state Department of Land and Natural Resources proposes rule amendments that will impact many commercial operations in state waters.
"There has been a significant increase in the volume and types of recreational and commercial activities taking place in state waters since these boating rules were written and last revised nearly 20 years ago," said William J. Aila Jr., DLNR chairman.
"It's time to update our rules so they are fair and equally applied to commercial operators operating everywhere in state waters. Since the use of our waters is changing, these rules allow us greater flexibility to adapt to those changes."
According to the state, these rule amendments are designed to bring parity to all Catamaran Registration Certificate holders and update and streamline commercial use permit fees, conditions and requirements for commercial operations.
Maui residents and businesses can comment on the proposed changes at a Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation public hearing on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Maui Waena Intermediate School cafeteria in Kahului.
The proposed regulations require that no person shall engage in any business or commercial activity on the navigable waters of the state without prior written approval from the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) or its authorized representative and the proper execution of an agreement with the department.
They define insurance requirements for commercial activities and conditions of re-issuance of Catamaran Registration Certificates and commercial use permits, and repeal operator permits issued to catamaran captains, canoe captains, surfboard instructors, sail board instructors and commercial motorboat operators.
Among other provisions, the proposed rules also increase surfboard rentals from 10 cents to one dollar and hike Catamaran Registration Certificate fees to be the same as commercial use permit fees - the greater of $200 or 3 percent of gross receipts per month.
These rules may be reviewed online at dlnr.hawaii.gov /dobor/draft-rules/ or in person at any small boat harbor from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays.
After the series of hearings, the public will have a second opportunity to comment on the amendments and any changes proposed by the BLNR at a future meeting. Speak up if your business could be hurt by the rules!