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Officers find giant illegal fishing net off Oahu

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:47 a.m. HST, Oct 09, 2013



State conservation officers continue to monitor waters off Oahu for large illegal fishing nets after several were confiscated in Kaneohe Bay this summer.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources this week reported that its enforcement officer retrieved two illegal lay nets in Kaneohe Bay this summer that totaled more than 1,200 feet long and also removed several derelict net balls comprised of different types of tangled net whose weight can destroy coral reefs as they roll around in the waves. 

Last month Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers removed an illegal net in Kaneohe Bay that measured about 220 feet long by 7 feet wide. Its mesh was less than the legal 2 -inch mesh size, with several small fish caught in it. Another monofilament lay net reported off Laie and measuring approximately 150 feet long and consisting of three panels, was also seized that month for multiple violations, including lack of registration tags and soak time exceeding four hours. 

In August, officers responded to a report of a large net with floats about 300 yards offshore near Makai Pier in Waimanalo. A 6- to 8-foot tangle of mixed net types was then cut loose and removed and later taken to a net recycling collection point at Pier 38. A DOCARE officer also responded to a report of an abandoned, untagged gill net off Kawai Kui beach park, which was also removed. 

In July, a 1,100-foot net was found when DOCARE officers responded to a complaint of a lay net left in the ocean at Hauula. The illegal net consisted of seven pieces of 7-foot wide monofilament mesh tied together totaling 1,100 feet long. It did not have the required tags and exceeded the legal length of 125 feet. The suspects in the case were not located, and officers picked up and removed the net from ocean waters. 

Commercial operators and other boaters also retrieved four large net balls composed of mixed monofilament and cargo nets that totaled about 3,400 pounds and turned these over to DLNR enforcement and boating officials at Heeia Kea small boat harbor. Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation staff took the nets to a net recycling collection point. 

"The public can help prevent damage to our coral reefs and waste of marine life in our ocean environment by reporting abandoned nets or entangled marine life to DOCARE at 643-DLNR. Fishers can also help by registering and tagging their lay nets and following state soak time and checking time rules," said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. 

To use a lay net, it must be registered with the Division of Aquatic Resources, have tags attached to show ownership, and measure no more than 125 feet long. Lay nets must be checked after two hours soak time and be removed after four hours total soak time. Lay nets may not be used during the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise. For more information about lay net use rules, go to the Division of Aquatic Resources website, Regulated Gear page, at http://state.hi.us/dlnr/dar/regulated_gear.html.







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dlum003 wrote:
That is an outrage! The perpetrators should prosecuted and jailed to the maximum the law allows. Disgusted by the greed and complete disregard for the marine environment.
on October 8,2013 | 09:31AM
Grimbold wrote:
They only catch the dumbest violators, most get away before the enforcement arrives. That is my personal experience. Try to report a net that was out all night at 5a m. And then you have to watch how the owners haul it in at 7 a m unbebothered by law enforcement.
on October 8,2013 | 11:59AM
islandsun wrote:
This has been going on for some time now. What took them so long? Everyone has been complaining.
on October 8,2013 | 10:30AM
SueH wrote:
People like myself have just given up reporting violations that we see. Nothing ever gets done. Why waste time reporting to the useless DLNR? Why should the honest fishermen continue their honest fishing when they see so many violations going unchecked?
on October 9,2013 | 07:03AM
littleyoboboy wrote:
DLNR is not totally useless. One of the wardens was diligent enough to stop by and harass me and my wife at wahiawa boat ramp. Absolutely no one else in the park. We stopped by to eat our lunch. Ya i was guilty of not being in a parking stall, cause I just pulled over somewhere peaceful. Asked the officer why he had to hassle us for something so harmless. He said that people complain that they don't do their jobs. At least he got to report back to his superiors that he did his job that day. DLNR is a waste of time. Why make laws that you don't enforce. These laws are made to justify jobs and their funding. Spend a lot of money and get nothing in return.
on October 9,2013 | 07:45AM
islandsun wrote:
DLNR fish enforcement should be abolished and the task should be handled by the Feds. Get rid of this lazy group.
on October 9,2013 | 08:02AM
Mallory wrote:
the judges here are a joke. Travis Fonoimoana's judgement is a clear example of the judge's ill decisions. What was that judges name? Unless they are actually serious about this with the penalties, no one will care to abide by the laws to protect and preserve.
on October 8,2013 | 10:50AM
what wrote:
Put a tracking device in the net. Let the culprits retrieve their net. Track them down and bust them.
on October 8,2013 | 11:01AM
Grimbold wrote:
Good idea, but too smart for our brain-dead law enforcement.
on October 8,2013 | 12:00PM
koolau wrote:
Is anyone in law enforcement reading this person's suggestion?
on October 9,2013 | 03:28AM
SueH wrote:
And when the culprits retrieve their nets and find the tracking device as they take the fish out, do you think they are going to take it home with them??? They'll pick it out of the net and throw it in the ocean, or smash it to pieces right then and there.....big help!
on October 9,2013 | 06:59AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
These offenders are not only destroying our reefs but they are probably breaking the law in many other ways such as not paying taxes on the fish that they sell. We need to stand up for our community and report those who are laying these illegal nets and we need to hold the offenders accountable with stiffer penalties.
on October 8,2013 | 11:56AM
Maipono wrote:
No respect, people like that need severe punishment. Confiscate their boat, fishing is a privilege not a right, zero tolerance.
on October 8,2013 | 11:57AM
SueH wrote:
I absolutely agree, Maipono!! But we need DLNR officers RESPONDING to violation reports in a timely manner for that to happen.
on October 9,2013 | 07:05AM
littleyoboboy wrote:
they gave the hauula guy his nets back and said "dont do it again ! ". OK, I promise !
on October 9,2013 | 01:00PM
kuewa wrote:
We need to restore the kapu system, with the traditional punishments, for those who have such blatant disrespect for our precious natural resources.
on October 8,2013 | 01:26PM
kaiakea wrote:
Maybe the old days were better. Malo, Kamakau, and Fornander tells us that if a kapu placed on resources and was violated, the least would be that the violator would get a severe beating. But if the situation were more serious, banishment or execution was likely.
on October 8,2013 | 03:21PM
lowtone123 wrote:
No wonder no can catch nothing casting from shore.
on October 8,2013 | 04:11PM
HD36 wrote:
Same here.
on October 8,2013 | 09:25PM
Oio wrote:
This kind of stuff is arrogantly criminal! The Ainokea attitude to the MAX!! Whoever you are, you sold out! Make shame to people of Hawaii.
on October 8,2013 | 08:05PM
Kaluu wrote:
I hope citizens get more involved in enforcing these regulations. Na hupo are ruining Hawaii life for future generations, as well as this one. Cannot forget the wonderful moi hole somebody wen destroy. Before that, we could go poke or net one of two and come back again. One day we went and the moi were gone. Who knows what the bad guys used? Dynamite, electric, bubbles chaser, whatever.... I urge everybody, if you have knowledge of these reef life destroyers, turn em in. Their disrespect for fishing regulations mean they have no respect for you and your descendants, either. Mamamake na ia o Hawaii nei!
on October 9,2013 | 05:15AM
yhls wrote:
These offenders, if caught, should face stiff fines and jail sentences.
on October 9,2013 | 06:26AM
lokela wrote:
Tracking device. Good suggestion 'What'. DLNR hope you are reading these comments.
on October 9,2013 | 06:45AM
littleyoboboy wrote:
tracking device should be put on the DLNR officer to find out where he sleeping on duty !!!!
on October 9,2013 | 01:03PM
Advsurfsail wrote:
All nets should be illegal.
on October 9,2013 | 07:03AM
moiman wrote:
ALL NET FISHING SHOULD BE ILLEGAL. ANYONE CAUGHT IN POSSESSION AND/OR USE OF NETS SHALL BE THROWN IN JAIL WITH FINES. PERIOD!
on October 9,2013 | 07:24AM
nitpikker wrote:
this is the case of mongoose and rats all over again. rats come out at night when the mongoose are sleeping.
on October 9,2013 | 07:35AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
So what did DLNR do with all the fish?
on October 9,2013 | 08:09AM
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