2 Big Island Men Cited for Illegal Aquarium Gear, Aquarium Fish

February 22, 2020, 6:00 AM HST (Updated February 21, 2020, 7:30 PM)
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DOCARE officials seized illegal aquarium gear and aquarium fish off a boat in Kawaihae. PC: DLNR

Two Big Island men were cited after aquarium fishing gear and over 500 live tropical fish were found on a vessel in Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor.

On Thursday, the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement received information regarding the illegal harvesting of aquarium fish offshore of Kawaihae. As a result, DOCARE officers conducted a commercial fishing gear and catch inspection of the vessel “Masako” when it returned to the Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor. Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) personnel also responded to assist with the inspection.

Aboard the vessel were Tyron T. Terazono of Kealakekua and Wayne T. Newman of Kailua-Kona.

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“The inspection revealed aquarium fishing gear, including a small mesh net, aboard the vessel,” DLNR officials stated in a press release Friday. “The vessel’s hold also contained 550 live tropical fish of various species.”

DOCARE officials seized illegal aquarium gear and aquarium fish off a boat in Kawaihae. PC: DLNR

Terazono and Newman were both cited. A third person on the boat was not cited. Additionally, a 2019 Force 24 Motor Vessel and trailer, and various fishing gear were seized as evidence.

Hawai‘i State statutes prohibits the possession of aquarium collecting gear, or to take or possess any specimen of aquatic life for aquarium purposes within the West Hawaii Regional Fisheries Management Area without a permit. A violation of this rule is a petty misdemeanor and can result in imprisonment and fines. Violators may also be subject to administrative penalties.

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