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Thursday, January 14, 2021
Court Order: All commercial aquarium fishing completely banned in Hawaii
By News Release @ 11:56 AM :: 1064 Views :: Environment, Small Business, Tourism

COMMERCIAL FISHERS NOTIFIED THAT ALL AQUARIUM COLLECTIONS ARE INVALID

News Release from DLNR, Jan 12, 2021

(HONOLULU) – Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Crabtree ruled today that all commercial aquarium fishing is completely banned in the State of Hawaiʻi, unless and until the aquarium fishing industry has completed the Chapter 343 environmental review process. The ruling was made in response to a request by aquarium fishing opponents.

Anyone who takes marine life for commercial purposes must have a commercial marine license (CML) issued by the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR). This requirement applies to all kinds of take of aquatic resources, including commercial aquarium collection. More than 3,000 CMLs are outstanding. 41 CML holders reported aquarium catch in 2020. The Court’s ruling explains that none of the current CMLs may be used for commercial aquarium collection. The ruling does not affect other types of commercial fishing or taking of marine life.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “Commercial aquarium collection has been controversial for many years in Hawaiʻi. Various court orders over the years have narrowed the allowed scope of the industry. The DLNR has faithfully implemented those orders and will now faithfully implement this ruling completely banning the industry without an approved EIS.”

DAR is in the process of notifying CML holders about the Court’s ruling.

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WEST HAWAI‘I AQUARIUM FISHERS TO PAY $76,400 FINE FOR ILLEGAL HARVEST 

Settlement Negates Contested Case Hearing Request 

News Release from DLNR, Jan 15, 2021

(HONOLULU) – Tyron and Kacie Terazono of Kealakekua have agreed to pay a large fine for the illegal harvest of aquarium fish, offshore of Kawaihae in Hawai‘i County, in February 2020. 

Acting on tips, officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) conducted a commercial fishing gear and catch inspection of the couple’s boat, Masako, when it returned to the Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor on Feb. 20, 2020. The inspection found 550 live tropical fish, of ten species, in the vessel’s hold, along with aquarium fishing gear, including a small mesh net.

The Terazonos were charged with violating the Hawai‘i Administrative Rules which prohibit the possession of aquarium collecting gear or the possession of aquatic life for aquarium purposes in the West Hawai‘i Regional Fisheries Management Area without a permit.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources heard the case against the Terazonos last May. The couple initially requested a Contested Case Hearing, after the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) had recommended the $76,400 administrative fines. Ultimately the pair dropped their request for a hearing and agreed to the settlement.

Last September, a South Kohala District Court judge sentenced Tyron Terazono to pay $5,500 in fines stemming from the illegal collection and serve 30 days in jail, but the term was suspended due to the pandemic. He had pleaded guilty to 11 criminal counts.

Photographs – Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor (Feb. 20, 2020) 

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