With the popular Ahu O Laka sandbar in Kāne’ohe Bay currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, recreational boaters have moved away from anchoring at the sand bar. 

DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) Administrator Brian Neilson said, “The bay has some of the best, in-tact coral reefs (patch reefs) in all of Hawai‘i and many people have worked for years to remove invasive algae and even invasive corals to preserve this unique and special coral reef ecosystem. Damaging the reef with a prop or anchor can cause injury to these living reefs that could take generations to repair, if ever.” 

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Boaters, divers, snorkelers, and fishers are being reminded that the patch reefs are extremely sensitive to human interaction and people should be very cautious around them. Steps to protect the reefs include: 

  • Do not touch, kick, rest, or stand on the coral 

  • Avoid touching anything and stirring up sediment 

  • Never drop anchor on coral 

  • Use adequate anchor line to avoid dragging an anchor across the reef 

  • Use a spotter to avoid hitting reefs 

  • If an anchor is stuck do not yank it, but dive or snorkel to release 

Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement are making regular patrols of Kāne’ohe Bay. Anyone found damaging or disturbing these fragile reefs, intentionally or not could be cited. 

Seven spear fisherman cited for illegal activities in Waikīkī Marine Life Conservation District and Fisheries Management Area

Seven Honolulu men face multiple charges after officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources (DOCARE) received a call reporting illegal fishing in the Waikīkī Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD) and the adjoining Waikīkī Fisheries Management Area (FMA). 

Three officers from Division One of the O‘ahu DOCARE Branch had been patrolling Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline after receiving complaints about a large group of divers taking both regulated and undersized fish from the waters there. While conducting surveillance an officer got the call about similar activities happening in the MLCD. 

They rerouted to Waikīkī and from San Souici Beach, officers observed ten lights illuminating the water. They watched as two men came to shore. When they contacted one of them, the partner fled back into the water. He notified the entire group and all the dive lights went out. The DOCARE officers then tracked the men to the Diamond Head side of the Waikīkī Natatorium. 

Eventually one man got out of the water and signaled the others they were in the clear. Officers then observed all the men get out of the water with spears, dive gear and fish. All seven men now face multiple charges including Prohibited Activities in an MLCD and FMA, having no diver flag, and possession of undersized fish.  

DOCARE officers inventoried approximately 130 fish, including Palani, Kala, U‘hu, He‘e, Ulua, and sea cucumbers. All the aquatic life was dead and was returned to the ocean. 

A month ago, on August 15, eight spear fishermen were also picked up in the MLCD and FMA for the very same violations. They had about 100 fish in their possession. In both cases, the suspects will have to appear in court and could face fines and/or jail time. 

DLNR Chief Jason Redulla said, “We are deeply appreciative of the people who are helping us watch out for our precious aquatic resources and reporting potential violations to DOCARE. Taking fish from any State MLCD is akin to stealing a baby from a nursery and we take these violations seriously and will pursue violators aggressively.” 

Call 643-DLNR or use the free DLNRTip app to report violations. 

In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S. Today’s announced prohibitions, when combined, protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality.

“Today’s actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”

While the threats posed by WeChat and TikTok are not identical, they are similar. Each collects vast swaths of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories. Each is an active participant in China’s civil-military fusion and is subject to mandatory cooperation with the intelligence services of the CCP. This combination results in the use of WeChat and TikTok creating unacceptable risks to our national security.

As of September 20, 2020, the following transactions are prohibited:

1. Any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates through an online mobile application store in the U.S.;

2. Any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.

As of September 20, 2020, for WeChat and as of November 12, 2020, for TikTok, the following transactions are prohibited:

1. Any provision of internet hosting services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;

2. Any provision of content delivery network services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the U.S.;

3. Any provision directly contracted or arranged internet transit or peering services enabling the function or optimization of the mobile application within the U.S.;

4. Any utilization of the mobile application’s constituent code, functions, or services in the functioning of software or services developed and/or accessible within the U.S.

Any other prohibitive transaction relating to WeChat or TikTok may be identified at a future date. Should the U.S. Government determine that WeChat’s or TikTok’s illicit behavior is being replicated by another app somehow outside the scope of these executive orders, the President has the authority to consider whether additional orders may be appropriate to address such activities. The President has provided until November 12 for the national security concerns posed by TikTok to be resolved. If they are, the prohibitions in this order may be lifted.

The notices for these actions will be posted on the Federal Register at approximately 8:45AM EDT on Friday, September 18, 2020.


On August 6, 2020, President Trump signed Executive Orders (E.O.) 13942, Addressing the Threat Posed by TikTok, and E.O. 13943, Addressing the Threat Posed by WeChat. In the E.O.s, the President determined that the apps capture vast swaths of information from U.S. users, leaving the data vulnerable to CCP access for nefarious purposes. Commerce, at the Direction of the President, was required to identify transactions within 45 days to protect national security and the private data of millions of people across the country. Today’s announced prohibitions fulfill the President’s direction and mitigate national security risks.

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