Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Cyanotech Corporation Habitat Conservation Plan Renewal Available for Public Comment

February 13, 2019


Holly Richards,, 808-282-9442

HONOLULU, Hawai‘i — Cyanotech Corporation has submitted an application to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to renew their Habitat Conservation Plan and incidental take permit at their aquaculture facility on the Island of Hawai‘i. The permit renewal is associated with Cyanotech’s HCP and addresses incidental take of endangered  Ae‘o (Hawaiian stilts) caused by the facility’s current operations and maintenance activities. The Service is seeking public review and will accept comments on the permit renewal from February 13, 2019 through March 15, 2019.  

Cyanotech’s original request for an incidental take permit and HCP was approved in 2002. The HCP was developed to address take of stilt chicks and eggs incidental to normal operations and maintenance at their microalgae facility. In accordance with their current HCP, conservation measures were implemented to improve nesting success at Opaeula Pond. Cyanotech has also significantly reduced impacts to stilts at the facility during the breeding and non-breeding seasons, eliminated nesting in hazardous areas at the facility, and funded surveys to monitor stilt use at other wetland sites along the Kona Coast.

Cyanotech is requesting to renew its 2002 Habitat Conservation Plan for Ae‘o at the Cyanotech Aquaculture Facility, Keahole Point, Hawai‘i and extend its incidental take permit. The renewal would extend their permit for an additional 19 years, until 2035.  

The endangered Ae‘o were historically known to be on all the major islands except Lana‘i and Kaho‘olawe. To protect the future of this species, the Ae‘o was listed as an endangered species in 1967 under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants is a primary goal of the Endangered Species Act.

Under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, habitat conservation plans are voluntary agreements between the Service and a landowner, private company, or non-federal agency and ensure that harmful effects to threatened and endangered species are minimized or offset. The Service regularly engages conservation partners, the public, landowners, government agencies and other stakeholders in our ongoing effort to identify innovative strategies for conserving and recovering species while supporting important economic activities.

“The Service is committed to working with the community, conservation partners, and private landowners to address the protection and recovery of threatened and endangered species native to Hawai‘i,” said Acting Field Supervisor Katherine Mullet, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office.

To request further information or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods, and note that your information request or comments are in reference to the Cyanotech HCP and the proposed renewal of the ITP. To ensure consideration, please send your comments by March 15, 2019.

  • Internet: Documents may be viewed on the internet at

  • Email: Include “Cyanotech HCP” in the subject line of the message.

  • U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Honolulu, HI 96850.

  • Fax: 808-792-9581, Attn: Field Supervisor. Include “Cyanotech HCP” in the subject line of the message.

  • In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Comments and materials received will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (address above). Written comments can be dropped off during regular business hours on or before the closing date of the public comment period.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

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