DLNR outlines new permit requirements

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The DLNR Friday outlined the parameters of a new permit policy for all ocean recreation commercial operations. "In the past all that was needed was a commercial use permit to use one of our facilities. Now the commercial use permits pertain to the actual use of the ocean waters" said Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation Administrator Ed Underwood. Operations like surf schools, kayak tours, snorkel and scuba expeditions are examples of those businesses required to have the new permitting. "We were getting a lot of complaints that they're overrunning the breaks. Local families aren't getting a chance to go out on the weekends and enjoy because there are so many surf schools out on the breaks" said Underwood. The permits will help the state get a better grasp on how many operations are in the water. It will undertake a capacity study to better understand the proper volume of people undertaking water activity. One potential benefit to the new process could be cutting down on businesses that aren't properly licensed or insured. "It's hard to tell who comes here from another beach, who comes here from the back of their car "said Corbin Peleiholani, a surf instructor for Hawaiian Oceans surf rentals. "We don't know if you have relatives visiting from the mainland and you're just taking them into the ocean, or are you actually doing business with paying customers here on the beach" he continued. The DLNR will cap the student to instructor ratio at 4 to 1. While it may increase the cost of doing business, it's could be something that will be good for legitimate businesses. "For the safety of the people, it's just good to check the credentials" said Peheiholani.

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