Nine Honolulu men were cited by state conservation officers for allegedly fishing illegally at Pupukea, a protected marine life conservation district on Oahu’s North Shore. The incident occurred just before 9 p.m. on Nov. 4 when officers observed dive lights at Pupukea. The Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers approached the men, aged 27 to 50, as they exited the water at the east end of Waimea Bay Beach Park about an hour and a half later.
According to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), all nine individuals had three-prong spears, dive fins, snorkel masks, and underwater lights. Subsequent investigation revealed that they were in possession of over 150 fish of various species, including regulated types such as manini, kala, uhu, and weke.
Pupukea, established as a Marine Life Conservation District in 1979, is one of 11 such districts in Hawaii, safeguarded by regulations that limit the harvesting of marine resources. The DLNR Chief, Jason Redulla, emphasized the significance of protecting these conservation districts for the benefit of future generations. The men, all with Honolulu addresses, were cited for prohibited activity violations, carrying petty misdemeanor penalties of up to 30 days imprisonment or fines.
Redulla stated, “Protecting our marine life conservation districts for the enjoyment of future generations is essential. The welfare of the marine environment is our most important consideration.”