A Waipahu fisherman was charged and sentenced at Waianae District Court on Nov. 25 for violating a law that prohibits the take or possession of any ulua less than 10 inches in length, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Lionel Tunac, 52, pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $250. This violation is a petty misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail.
Tunac was cited on Oct. 11 by DLNR's Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement for taking and possessing undersized ulua, or papio, from ocean waters at the Kalaeloa Deep Draft Harbor.
At the time, an anonymous caller reported an unknown male catching undersized fish along the coral shoreline surrounding the Harbor. DLNR responded to the scene and observed the man fishing and in possession of three undersized ulua, which each measured about 6-inches-long.
"Taking undersized ulua presents a threat to Hawaii's near shore fisheries. DOCARE continues to patrol ocean waters and shorelines to ensure compliance with fishing regulations," said Randy Awo, DOCARE Chief.
Hawaii Administrative Rules Chapter 19-95F states that for ulua and papio, minimum legal size is 10 inches. Minimum legal size is 16 inches for sale, and bag limit is 20 (total all species).
For more information on fishing regulations, please refer to DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources’ website located at http://state.hi.us/dlnr/dar.