HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A fisherman found with illegal aquarium fish has avoided the most severe penalties.
Instead, West Hawaii fisherman Wayne Newman will pay a $200 fine after pleading “no contest” to illegally catching the aquarium fish in a protected area back in February.
The catch was valued at more than $37,000, and that was also the proposed fine from the state.
DLNR leaders said they were disappointed the judge approved the low fine. In a statement Tuesday, they said:
“The Division of Aquatic Resources is disappointed that the violation of multiple State Fisheries Laws resulted in a no-contest plea and a $200 fine.”
They’re now considering civil action against Newman.
The statement continued, “The $200 Court sentence doesn’t adequately match the seriousness of the crime or discourage illegal activity in the future ... The DLNR is looking at additional penalties through a civil enforcement action. Our natural resources hold incredible ecological, cultural, and economic value. The maximum fine amount, as reflected in today’s court decision, does not reflect the value of the natural resources that can be lost when these laws are violated.”
It was a first offense for Newman, which resulted in the low fines.
A second fisherman who was busted at the same time, Tyron Terzono, is due in court on June 30.