Two Kona men were cited Thursday for illegal harvesting of aquarium fish offshore of Kawaihae, the Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Friday afternoon.
The department’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement on Thursday received information concerning the illegal harvesting of aquarium fish offshore of Kawaihae. Officers subsequently conducted a commercial fishing gear and catch inspection of the vessel “Masako” when it returned to the Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor.
The inspection allegedly turned up aquarium fishing gear, including a small mesh net, aboard the vessel, according to the department. The vessel’s hold also contained 550 live tropical fish of various species.
Two of the fishers aboard the vessel, Tyron T. Terazono of Kealakekua and Wayne T. Newman of Kailua-Kona, were cited by DOCARE officers for violation of Hawaii Administrative Rule 13-60.4-4 (3). A third person was not cited.
In addition, a 2019 Force 24 Motor Vessel and trailer, and various fishing gear were seized as evidence, the department said.
The rule 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.