Gill netting for Hawaiian Bonefish rapant in "net free" areas
Despite 2007 Hawaii State regulations, many "gill net free" areas continue to see illegal netting on a daily basis. The current State regulations ban all gill netting in parts of Kaneohe Bay, Keehi Lagoon, and Maunalua Bay.
A loophole in these State regulations allows "surround netting," a method primarily used by aquarium fishermen. Aquarium fish are generally harvested with short, small-mesh, barrier nets by surrounding groups of reef fish for sale to pet stores.
Unethical commercial Gill netters now claim to be "surround netting" while using large eye monofilament gill nets hundreds of feet long that are set in a wide arc, rather than in a straight line. These nets are unmarked, and often set at night specifically targeting Bonefish.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources has discontinued it's enforcement of the gill net ban in the areas designated as "net free" due to the loophole in the State regulations.