State briefs for December 21

Surf competition draws complaints from Maui neighbors

WAILUKU, Maui — A World Surf League competition has drawn complaints from Maui residents about trespassing, blocked roads and parking overflow.

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Residents near Peahi on the island’s north shore issued the complaints about the 2019 Jaws Big Wave Championships event Dec. 12. Residents of the main access road to the event for drivers and spectators said traffic was backed up because of minimal parking options, construction and spectator street crossings, while some roads were blocked. Residents also expressed concern about the environmental impact from leftover trash and debris.

The volunteer Hana Highway Regulation Committee said it counted more than 400 cars overflowing onto roads and illegally parked.

The big wave competition surfing season began Nov. 1 and is scheduled to run until March 31, during which contestants are on standby until conditions are ideal.

The World Surf League said it has prior knowledge of the start date and event details, but cannot predict attendance at the free event.

Forklift needed to haul away illegal fish net

HONOLULU — An illegal fishing net discovered in an Oahu bay was so large that a forklift was needed to move it.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the net was found by two boaters in Kaneohe Bay last week. Two boaters discovered the net after their craft became entangled.

The boaters said that after they pulled the net out of the bay, the apparent owners chased them to retrieve the equipment. The boaters returned to the harbor and their pursuers fled, they said.

State officials were not able to immediately measure the net, but the boaters said their measurement found 500 yards of netting.

Rules adopted in 2007 to govern the use of gill nets left floating on top of the water to trap fish can be no longer than 125 feet . Lay nets are banned within 3 miles of the Oahu shoreline and in specific areas of the island including Kaneohe Bay.

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Maui banned the lay net method, which a DLNR official said is the most regulated form of gill net fishing.

A $5,000 fine can be levied for a first offense of catching threatened or endangered wildlife in the nets, with additional fines for each threatened or endangered wildlife taken, harmed or killed. A first offense fine for illegal lay net fishing can cost up to $1,000.

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