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Big Island man who used ant poison to kill 6,200 prawns slapped with huge fine

Plaques for two police officers and an agent who were killed in the line of duty were installed...
Plaques for two police officers and an agent who were killed in the line of duty were installed Friday at the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial in Honolulu.(DLNR)
Published: May. 14, 2021 at 6:04 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Land Board has fined a Big Island man $633,840 for using poison in a stream to catch shrimp on the Big Island.

It’s the largest BLNR fine for an aquatic resource violation

Investigators say Wayne Keaulana Spatz killed more than 6,200 Tahitian prawns in Paheehee Stream in North Hilo back in July.

A friend said he was using ant poison from her house to kill the prawns.

On Friday, the Land Board hit Spatz with the hefty fine due to the damage to the stream life and the large number of shrimp. They said he should have been prosecuted.

“The action today sends a strong and clear message to anyone else who is endangering people’s health and killing life in our streams,” said BLNR and Land and Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case.

“Over the past week we’ve received additional reports of individuals using chemicals used in pesticides to poison streams for the sole purpose of collecting prawns to sell for human consumption. It is illegal and morally indefensible, and anyone caught will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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