TWO MEN CITED FOR ILLEGAL AQUARIUM GEAR AND AQUARIUM FISH
News Release from DLNR, February 21, 2020
(Kawaihae) - On Thursday, February 20, 2020, the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) received information concerning the illegal harvesting of aquarium fish offshore of Kawaihae, Hawai’i County. Acting on the information received, DOCARE Officers conducted a commercial fishing gear and catch inspection of the vessel “Masako” when it returned to the Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor. Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) personnel also responded to assist with the inspection.
The inspection revealed aquarium fishing gear, including a small mesh net, aboard the vessel. The vessel’s hold also contained 550 live tropical fish of various species.
Hawai’i Administrative Rule 13-60.4-4 (3) prohibits the possession of aquarium collecting gear, or to take or possess any specimen of aquatic life for aquarium purposes within the West Hawaii Regional Fisheries Management Area without a permit. A violation of this rule is a petty misdemeanor and can result in imprisonment and fines. Violators may also be subject to administrative penalties.
Two of the fishers aboard the vessel, Tyron T. Terazono of Kealakekua and Wayne T. Newman of Kailua-Kona, were cited by DOCARE Officers. A third person was not cited. Additionally, a 2019 Force 24 Motor Vessel and trailer, and various fishing gear were seized as evidence.
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Statement from Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council Vice President of Government Affairs Bob Likins on Possible Illegal Fishing Activity in Hawaii:
News Release from PIJAC, February 21, 2020
“It has come to the attention of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council that the state of Hawaii may be currently investigating one or more individuals for alleged aquarium fishing violations. While we wait for details to be released, it is important to make our position clear.
PIJAC applauds Hawaiian law enforcement’s diligent monitoring of the fishery and swift enforcement action against all violators of current laws. There is no place for illegal activity within the responsible pet trade, and PIJAC supports everyone who works to enforce the law. We continue to advocate for providing greater resources to law enforcement, both in Hawaii and around the United States. PIJAC is dedicated to doing everything in our power to ensure a responsible, sustainable and legal Hawaii fishery, and condemns any activity that threatens that.
We are closely monitoring the situation, and will take appropriate action once further details are known.”