State conservation officers cited nine Honolulu men over the weekend for reportedly fishing illegally at Pupukea, a protected marine life conservation district on Oahu’s North Shore.
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said just before 9 p.m. on Nov. 4, officers noticed dive lights at Pupukea on Oahu’s North Shore.
The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers approached the nine men as they emerged out of the water at the east end of Waimea Bay Beach Park about an hour and a half later. They were between the ages of 27 and 50.
DOCARE officers allege that all nine had three-prong spears, dive fins, snorkel masks and underwater lights, and upon further investigation found they had more than 150 fish of various species in their possession.
DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla said in a news release that these included regulated species of manini, kala, uhu, and weke.
Pupukea is one of 11 marine life conservation districts in Hawaii, which are protected by rules that restrict the taking of marine resources such as fish, shells, corals and more. The Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District was established in 1979.
The men, who range in age from 27 to 50 years old and all have Honolulu addresses, were cited for prohibited activity violations which carry petty misdemeanor penalties of up to 30 days imprisonment or a fine.
“Protecting our marine life conservation districts for the enjoyment of future generations is essential,” said Redulla. “The welfare of the marine environment is our most important consideration.”