Kite lines laid out on the beach perceived as an entanglement hazard, getting close to other users while traveling at high speeds, jumping over other users and disruption of fish, leading to poor fishing are the main problems often reported by Hawaiian users (swimmers, fishermen, sunbathers, vessel operators, etc), a State of Hawaii study has concluded.

Five ocean recreation sports were targeted in this study: kiteboarding, surfing, kayaking, scuba, and snorkeling. These were chosen based on the increasing popularity and use levels of these sports, based on community concerns received by the Department about ocean recreation use conflicts occurring within and among these sports, and because commercial tours and lessons are occurring for all of these sports.

Community concerns relating to ocean recreation user conflicts that have been brought to the attention of the Department over the past few years include concerns about uncontrolled commercial ocean recreation activities, conflicts between and within ocean recreation user groups, public access, and carrying capacity.

Five focus sites across Hawaii where recreational use conflicts are occurring were chosen as case study sites to examine these issues of concern in more detail. Each of the case study areas contains one or more heavily used public beaches within a designated Ocean Recreation Management Area, where both commercial and non-commercial ocean recreation activities are occurring.

The five Focus Sites chosen by the DLNR and CSV Consultants to represent ocean recreation user conflicts occurring in Hawaii were Kailua Bay and Waikiki Beach on Oahu, Hanalei Bay on Kauai, Kahalu’u Beach Park on the Big Island, and South Maui (the area encompassing Kihei, Wailea, and Makena).

Recommendations for the prevention and resolution of ocean recreation user conflicts developed for these case study areas were pooled together and further refined for the development of a statewide set of management strategies and tools for use by the DLNR.

About 100 people participated in Ocean Recreation Focus Group meetings held across the state.

Source: State of Hawaii