03/13/18 – Recent Lay Net Violations Highlight Value of Community Reporting; One Man Cited Twice in Two Weeks

Posted on Mar 13, 2018 in DOCARE, News Releases

News Release


For Immediate News Release March 13, 2018

One Man Cited Twice in Two Weeks

(HONOLULU) – Early in the morning on Jan. 20, 2018 a DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources (DOCARE) officer spotted a man about 100 yards offshore of Wailupe Beach Park using a headlamp.  The officer reports the light was focused on a kayak and the man was walking in chest deep water next to it. Peering through binoculars the officer saw the man “pulling long continuous sections of lay net from the water and loading it onto the red kayak.”

56-year-old Bryant (aka Bryan) Okawa of Kaneohe was cited for four violations: restricted lay netting; using eight panels of unregistered lay nets; prohibited lay netting at night; and take/possession of undersized fish. The violations came after two DOCARE officers observed Okawa “lay netting at night in State waters…this continued for well over an hour in the cover of night.”

Lay netting is prohibited along the south shore of O‘ahu from Maunalua Bay to an area near the Daniel K. Inouye (Honolulu) International Airport. The first set of citations was not enough to allegedly deter the same man, two weeks later.

At approximately 10:40 p.m. on March 3, 2018, an anonymous man notified a DOCARE officer that he had observed a man paddle out to a lay net on a kayak and then went back to check it a few times. This happened at Paiko Beach in east O‘ahu. As in the first case, the officer saw through binoculars – a man with a light, “lifting what appeared to be a lay net…and appeared to be removing fish from the lay net and putting it in a kayak.” 

This time Okawa was issued two citations which include a total of 47 violations. Some are related to using lay nets, lay nets at night, lay nets in a prohibited area, unregistered lay net, and multi-panel lay net. The others are for out-of-season, over bag limit, or undersized fishing violations.

DOCARE Enforcement Chief Robert Farrell commented, “This is a perfect example of why we ask everyone to be observant of natural and cultural resource violations and to report them immediately to our free App or via our hotline (links below). We can’t have eyes and ears everywhere, so without the anonymous citizen’s report we may not have been able to catch this repeat offender.” 

Last Sunday, March 11, 2018, 54-year-old Michael Cananilla Jr. received three citations, based on 11 different lay net and fish violations at Waiahole along Kaneohe Bay.  Officers allege Cananilla had some 1,200 feet of lay net, which for that area is 10 times the legal limit of 120 feet. One investigating officer said it’s among the longest lay net DOCARE has ever confiscated. In addition to four violations related to lay nets, Cananilla is alleged to have taken out-of-season and under-sized fish and live coral rocks. He also had violations related to boats and equipment.

Chief Farrell encourages people to download the free DLNRTip app and said, “The sooner we’re informed about this type of activity, the quicker we can respond.”


Media Contact:

Dan Dennison
Senior Communications Manager
(808) 587-0407