Isle-based fishing boat seized over shark finsSAN DIEGO >> Authorities seized a Hawaii-based fishing vessel with at least 12 tons of illegally harvested shark fins on board, the Coast Guard said yesterday.
The 82-foot King Diamond II, with a five-member crew, was stopped and searched about 350 miles southeast of Acapulco, Mexico, and towed to San Diego.
The crew of the Kind Diamond II, based in Honolulu, is suspected of buying shark fins from other fishing vessels while at sea in violation of a U.S. law adopted in 2000.
"Wasteful fishing practices can lead to devastation of vital living marine resources and economic hardship," said Dale Jones, the chief of law enforcement for the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The ship was stopped by a U.S. Navy ship and searched by a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment on Aug. 13. It was towed to San Diego on Friday by a Coast Guard cutter.
Agents from the fisheries service were trying to determine the exact amount of shark fin stored in the hold, and the amount could be as high as 35 tons, said Paul Ortiz, a senior enforcement attorney for the fisheries service.
Divers will remove alien algae off WaikikiVolunteer divers will remove alien algae this morning that threatens Waikiki reefs. The algae will be weighed and tested for possible use as compost.
"The alien alga, Gracilaria salicornia, dominates the inshore regions of Waikiki near the Natatorium, creating tangled floating mats that disperse with waves and currents," said Celia Smith, a University of Hawaii botany professor and algae expert.
The work is being sponsored by the state Division of Aquatic Resources, UH scientific divers, snorkelers from Reef Check, experts from the Nature Conservancy, the UH Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative, UH Botany and Zoology departments and the Waikiki Aquarium.
Board OKs hearings on northwest islandsThe state Land Board gave approval yesterday for the state Department of Land & Natural Resources to conduct public hearings to adopt proposed rules regulating state waters in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.
No dates have been set for the hearings.
The proposed rules incorporate changes suggested by the public after the DLNR's first proposal was released in January.
In December 2000, President Clinton established by executive order the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve. The order affects 84 million acres of water around uninhabited islets and atolls northwest of the main Hawaiian islands.
>> Scott Bradley, managing director of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp., was misidentified as Scott McCormack in a story on Page C1 yesterday.
Corrections and clarifications
>> The state spent $270,000 for marketing activities involving Gov. Ben Cayetano and Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau officials at the American Society of Association Executives' recent convention in Denver. A story on Page C2 on Thursday put the cost at $1.4 million, a number that refers to the total cost for the entire ASAE program over a two-year period.
>> The 45 Big Island bus routes left in question by the closure of a bus company were all to have been covered effective yesterday, according to the state Department of Education. A story on Page A3 yesterday incorrectly reported that routes would be phased in as individual schools opened for classes. The DOE release advised, though, that there would be a disruption of service for two public charter schools, Hawaii Academy of Arts & Sciences in Hilo and Kanu o Ka Aina in Kamuela; full service for them is expected to resume Monday.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Managing Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at email@example.com.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Big Isle sweep nets 12,418 pakalolo plantsHILO >> Big Island police seized 12,418 marijuana plants at 675 separate locations during eradication Monday through yesterday, they announced.
The seizures took place in East Hawaii from Puna, through Hilo, to Hamakua.
The action follows the seizure last month of 9,283 plants at 609 locations in East Hawaii, they said.
Reason for attack and suicide still unknownLIHUE >> Kauai police are still trying to determine why a courier company deliveryman attacked a woman in a Lihue office and, after fleeing, apparently went home and hanged himself.
An autopsy has been ordered for Kaimi Olanolan, 20, who attacked a worker early Thursday at an office where had previously made deliveries.
He attempted to drag the woman into the back of the office, but her fellow employees chased him away.
Olanolan was found dead at his Hanamaulu home by family members late Thursday afternoon, police said.
4 brush fires in Kau keep firefighters busyPUNALUU, Hawaii >> Big Island firefighters fought four brush fires in the Kau district yesterday, quickly bringing two under control while continuing efforts on the others.
No homes were threatened.
The fact that the four fires were reported within a short time of each other about 2:15 p.m. seemed suspicious, said Civil Defense Deputy Bruce Butts.
Fire dispatch personnel in Hilo said units at the scene made no initial comment on possible suspiciousness.
Of the two lingering fires, the larger was along side roads heading seaward from Hawaii Belt Road at Punaluu and Ninole, fire dispatch said.
By nightfall, 40 acres had been burned, but the fire was declared contained, and firefighters had reduced fires there to smoldering spots, which they were mopping up.
Four miles to the south at Honuapo, on the mauka side of Hawaii Belt Road, fire had burned in two finger patterns totaling 20 acres, Butts said.
At sundown, bulldozers were cutting fire breaks, and the fire was not declared controlled.
Police closed the Belt Road on an 8-mile stretch between Pahala and Naalehu shortly after the 2:15 p.m. alarm and reopened it at 5:20 p.m., Butts said.
Man charged with fondling 6-year-old boyHonolulu police have charged a 34-year-old Pearl City man with fondling a 6-year-old boy last month.
Police said Andriano Matias has been charged with two counts of third-degree sex assault for an incident that allegedly took place July 21. Matias is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.
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