HONOLULU (KHON2) — The State Board of Land and Natural Resources announced that it has fined a boat owner $43,417 for their aquatic vessel that caused damage to stony coral and live rock on Hawai’i Island in 2021.
A 54-foot sailing catamaran named Avalanche was reported on May, 28, 2021 to have anchored on top of live coral outside the Honokōhau Small Boat Harbor on Hawai‘i Island.
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Officers from the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement along with aquatic biologists from the Division of Aquatic Resources said they were concerned about the vessel’s anchorage. They spoke with the vessel’s captain as they conducted a visual survey of the impact of the anchor on the coral.
Once the survey was complete, the team directed the captain of the Avalanche to pull up anchor and leave the area.
Later, on June 1, 2021, the team did a more thorough analysis of the damage and found that there was extensive damage done to 101 coral colonies and 58 pieces of live rock.
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“The portion of the penalty not expended to cover the costs of our investigation is placed in a fund dedicated to coral damage response and restoration. We appreciate the Land Board’s action in approving what we believe are fair and equitable penalties based on the extent of damage caused by each of these vessels,” explained DAR Administrator, Brian Neilson.