A fisherman was fined $205 for catching six undersized papio with a handline in the Diamond Head area last September.
Environmental Court Judge Linda Luke in Honolulu District Court imposed the fine on Konsida Pelep on July 8, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources reported.
State conservation officer in September inspecting Pelep’s catch found six undersized papio, or juvenile-phase ulua. The largest of Pelep’s six fish measured nine inches, weighing less than two pounds.
It is illegal to take papio/ulua under 10 inches. Commercial sale of papio/ulua under 16 inches is also prohibited.
Violation of the papio/ulua size limit regulations is a petty misdemeanor and violators are subject to fines of up to $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail. A first offense carries a minimum fine of $100.
“Papio are an important species to recreational, commercial and subsistence fishers,” said Jason Redulla, acting Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) Chief. “While they’re very resilient to fishing pressure as a species, we can’t have a sustainable fishery if they aren’t allowed to reach spawning size,” Redulla added.
“Fishers and divers have the unique ability to positively impact resources by being selective with what they take. When compliance rates are high, size limit regulations have resulted in more abundant fisheries, so we encourage the public to take only fish that are above the legal limit.”
Information resources on state fisheries rules and regulations can be found at fishing supply stores, online at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/fishing/fishing-regulations/ or at the Division of Aquatic Resources offices on each island via phone.