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Hauula man sentenced over fishing violations

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 02:55 a.m. HST, Oct 09, 2013

A Hauula fisherman has been sentenced to 213 hours of community service work plus one year of probation after being cited for multiple fishing violations in Punaluu earlier this year.

Travis K. Fonoimoana, 34, pled no contest on Sept 26. in Kaneohe District Court. The community service sentence was in lieu of a $1,500 fine.

He was cited by a Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officer on Feb. 2.

The state land department said Fonoimoana was found possessing and using four lay nets longer than 125 feet in length and with less than two inches of stretched mesh, as well as for taking several 'o'io under 14 inches and several moi under 11 inches — which are the minimum legal sizes.

The state had asked that the fisherman's laynets be destroyed, but the Kaneohe District Court judge returned it to the owner with a warning that he must comply with the terms and conditions of probation.

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busterb wrote:
Waaaaah? If the nets are illegal, what sense does it make to give them back to the guy? Wall decoration?
on October 8,2013 | 08:48AM
MC96816 wrote:
No kidding. Well, give the brah a second chance but if he violates the sentence then fine him and throw him in jail. The story already says he committed "multiple violations," so this is way more than a second chance. He's been selfish and makes it hard for other fishermen. No more da aloha.
on October 8,2013 | 09:10AM
Pocho wrote:
Those nets should have been destroyed. What kine Judge is that? Illegal is illegal. I don't know the exact law/rules, but i don't think the illegal net eyes can be adjusted. All I going say is that the NET lives to see another illegal fishing day.
on October 9,2013 | 04:10AM
RichardCory wrote:
Probably because the net itself isn't illegal but only using it for fishing in certain waters is. This is just conjecture on my part, but believe it or not, the writers for SA do a horrible job saying what the law is. I doubt the judge would really have been so stupid as to return it if the law was clear on the illegality of possessing it.
on October 9,2013 | 04:37AM
islandsun wrote:
He is going right back out there with the net. Knucklehead judge.
on October 8,2013 | 10:32AM
AhiPoke wrote:
Isn't this like giving a gun back to its owner after he used it in a crime? Actually, maybe worse as the gun isn't necessarily illegal but the net is.
on October 8,2013 | 10:39AM
reefkeeper wrote:
what a ridiculous thig to do return the ILLEGAL net to the owner and hopes he destroys then. how dumb could we be, may as well give the car theif back the stolen car he was caought driving.
on October 8,2013 | 12:50PM
atilter wrote:
a very good example of a judge who has obviously risen to the level of BEING UNABLE TO MAKE CLEAR AND RATIONAL LEGAL DECISIONS!!! this "judge" should be removed!!!!
on October 8,2013 | 01:52PM
HD36 wrote:
Laying nets should be made illegal.
on October 8,2013 | 02:56PM
squidbro wrote:
There is no reason to return illegal small-mesh nets to someone who used them in violation of a straightforward conservation measure. The judge made a stupid decision but unfortunately is not going to be accountable.
on October 8,2013 | 03:12PM
koolau wrote:
on October 9,2013 | 03:22AM
paradiddle wrote:
Judge: Hey brah....you got any slipper lobster or manini? Fonoimanao: No sweats. Got plenty. Will set you up. Judge: Shoots...bring some when you come get your net.
on October 9,2013 | 05:14AM
yhls wrote:
What an absolute joke of a sentence! What a disgrace our judges here. The people who really need to be punished are set free! This guy should serve a year in jail at least, plus have his fishing gear confiscated. Unbelievable! Who was the judge? As usual, bad reporting from the Star-Advertiser staff.
on October 9,2013 | 06:31AM
Advsurfsail wrote:
Even JuDGe Judy would have thrown his nets away!
on October 9,2013 | 07:01AM
moiman wrote:
STUPID judge. The guy is going to go back and use the nets again. The judge should have thrown this guys butt in jail. This is why get so many people laying nets illegally. One of the reasons why no more fish.
on October 9,2013 | 07:16AM
leino wrote:
It is encouraging to see so many comments related to the conservation ethic. Our ocean needs all of the help it can get. Good for DOCARE moving beyond the usual warning and seeing this one all the way to the courts. Inadequate enforcement is one of the weak links in trying to maintain some control over all of our natural resources.
on October 9,2013 | 08:01AM
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