NOTE: This story will be updated with a video transcript
(BIVN) – State law enforcement continues to keep an eye on East Hawaii streams, after the waterways were poisoned: presumably to collect prawns that were living there.
In October, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources warned the public that poisoned prawns were being found in streams north of Hilo. At the time, officers with the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement were investigating six suspected chemical poisonings.
The State publicized a similar incident back in 2018. A DLNR camera followed DOCARE officer Edwin Shishido as he investigated.
Shishido attended a virtual meeting on Tuesday to talk about the incidents with the Hawaiʻi County Game Management Advisory Commission.
In its October news release, the DLNR said anyone convicted of poisoning a Hawai‘i stream could face felony criminal charges and civil penalties, which upon conviction can carrying significant fines and/or jail time.
The public is being asked to provide detailed information if they believe a stream has been poisoned.
- Notify DOCARE at (808) 933-3460, or 643-DLNR or via the free DLNRtip app
- Note time of day, date, and vehicle/license plates
- Provide photographs if possible and a call-back number
- If you observe prawns crawling out of the water, freeze them as soon as possible (poisons break down quickly)
The quicker this information is provided the higher the chance specialists can get water and sediment samples, DLNR says.