Operation Koa Kai has been pushed back to the island of Hawaii

photo of Operation Koa Kai courtesy of the US Coast Guard

(BIVN) – The U.S. Coast Guard conducted their annual Koa Kai Operation in the waters off the island of Hawaii this month.

From the US Coast Guard:

Operation Koa Kai lasted throughout November in order to achieve the objective of the Honolulu sector to increase the presence of the coast guard on the Big Island.

Operation Koa Kai is an annual operation led by the Honolulu Coast Guard Sector and Marine Safety and Security Team 91107 and ensures that recreational and commercial fleets continue to operate safely and in accordance with the laws and federal regulations through patrols, training and interagency cooperation.

“The operation lasted for a total of 19 days throughout the month of November, resulting in 133 hours in progress,” said Chief Warrant Officer Omar Perez, an officer in the area’s law enforcement division. Honolulu. “While underway, the MSST conducted 38 maritime security and response patrols and two interagency patrols with our law enforcement partners at NOAA and the Division of Conservation and Law. application of DLNR resources. Air Station Barbers Point crews also conducted 7 law enforcement patrols during the 17-hour flight.

While patrolling the Big Island, the Honolulu Sector MSST team worked with NOAA law enforcement officers to ensure that the areas protected marine species, such as the native dolphin population long-billed Hawaiian birds have the protection necessary to stay healthy under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a law that prohibits the hunting, harassing, capture or killing of a marine mammal.

Recently, local federal and state partners reported a significant number of potential violations as well as declining fish stocks in the sensitive reef environments surrounding the Big Island of Hawaii.

Such activity is not only in violation of several laws and regulations, but also exposes unsuspecting members of the public to danger through inexperienced pleasure charter operators, insufficient safety equipment and unsatisfactory physical conditions. ships. Owners and operators of illegal charter boats can face up to $ 27,500 in fines for the operations.

“Passengers should refrain from embarking on charters and tours of captains that do not advertise Coast Guard certification or who have valid Merchant Navy credentials,” Perez said. “Credentials must be present at all times on all trips; the dangers of engaging with unlicensed captains can pose a serious threat to life. “

To report a suspected illegal charter operation, contact the Coast Guard Area Command Center in Honolulu at (808) 842-2603 or [email protected]

To report a potential violation of marine mammal protection law or marine wildlife emergencies, contact the NOAA Marine Wildlife Hotline (888) 256-9840 or submit video and photo evidence by email to [email protected]

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