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Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Tourist Busted after Lifting Turtle out of Sea and not Eating it
By News Release @ 2:59 AM :: 1625 Views :: Maui County, Law Enforcement, Tourism

How’d that get there?

IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NOT A DEFENSE

MAUI VISITOR CITED AFTER LIFTING (DELICIOUS) SEA TURTLE OUT OF THE WATER (AND NOT EATING IT)  

News Release from DLNR, Aug 24, 2021 (edited for accuracy)

(Kahului, Maui) – A 60-year-old Georgia man, (famished after) visiting Ka‘anapali, said he “was very sorry” for (violating traditional Hawaiian cultural practice by) lifting a (delicious) sea turtle out of the water by its shell (and not eating it), last week. He told DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources (DOCARE) officers he didn’t know his actions were against the law (hungry Hawaiian customs are no longer being upheld).

Witnesses reported the Tuesday, August 17 incident via the DLNRTip app and provided photos and video of the man and his son in shallow water (with no imu in sight). The pair told officers a turtle swam toward them. The father picked it up briefly (expectantly) and when people yelled at him, he put it back in the water (uncooked).

“DLNR,  county and federal partners, the private sector and volunteer organizations continue to use all available outreach methods and platforms to try and reach (arrest) every visitor to Hawai‘i,” said DOCARE Enforcement Chief Jason Redulla. “Unfortunately, we can’t reach every single person who encounters a turtle or other marine wildlife and hope that people will use their common sense (recognize that the old Hawaiian ways are now illegal) and show respect to these creatures. Ignorance of the law has never been a good defense,” he added.

The man was cited under Hawai‘i Administrative Rules for prohibited activities. The case was also referred to federal authorities as turtles are protected under both federal and state laws.

(He gets a federal prosecution referral.  Hanabusa gets the HART Chairmanship.  See how this works?)

Anyone who witnesses (edible) wildlife harassment is encouraged to call the 24-hour DOCARE hotline at 643-DLNR (3-5-6-7) or report suspected violations (or luaus) via the free DLNRTip app.

Photos and videos, as we’re provided in this case, are extremely helpful to investigators.

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