It is illegal to lay nets on Oahu’s South Shore from Kawaihoa/Portlock Point to Keahi/Iroquois Point, but four Waipahu men were cited for doing so at Maunalua Bay on Sunday by officers from the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The illegal netters were also charged with possession of undersized fish, including moi, papio and o’io, and with taking an out-of-season lobster, which DOCARE officers returned to the water, DLNR reported in a press release.
The officers arrived on the scene just after 7 p.m., having received multiple complaints from fishermen and residents about a group of men laying net in the bay at Paiko Lagoon. They observed what appeared to be floats stretching end-to-end just outside the lagoon.
A short time later, they saw a man leaving a truck they had been alerted to as being suspicious; the man went out to the floats, then returned to shore and met three other men, who officers say had containers of large nets.
The men were then seen placing all the gear into the truck and were attempting to leave the area when DOCARE made contact and found multiple lay nets in the truck’s bed, along with the illegally caught fish and lobster.
DOCARE alleges one man placed the nets in the water with the assistance of the other three; all four men, who range in age from their early 40s to mid-60s, are scheduled to make court appearances in July.