Luxury yacht owners fined $100K for coral reef damage off Hawaii Island
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Owners of a luxury yacht have been fined $100,000 for damaging coral reefs off Hawaii Island.
The DLNR says Formosa Wealth Management Group, owners of the 197-foot luxury yacht, dropped their anchor in the Kailua Bay Zone of the Kona Coast Fishery Management Area in 2018.
That caused significant damage to 431 coral colonies and about 150-square feet of live rock, the DLNR said.
The DLNR added that employees of Big Island Watersports observed the Formosa’s anchor was not properly set and documented the presence of recently broken coral.
State aquatic biologists were made aware of the incident and the damage was later documented.
Aquatic researchers later attempted to repair what they could of the damaged coral.
The fine is part of an agreed settlement. Officials informed the Board of Natural Resources that prosecution against the owners would’ve been difficult because it operates under a foreign flag.
The money will be used to support coral reef management and restoration in West Hawaii.
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