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Sen. McKelvey asks BLNR for stringent penalties against owners of Nakoa vessel : Maui Now


Nakoa salvage. Feb. 27, 2023. PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi

At its upcoming meeting on Jan. 26, 2024, the Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider enforcement action against the owners of the vessel Nakoa, which, in February 2023, grounded outside the Honolua-Mokulēʻia Bay Marine Life Conservation District. In the incident, 119 specimens of stony coral and 1640.5 square meters of live rock were damaged.

Senator Angus McKelvey

State Senator Angus L.K. McKelvey (District 6, West Maui, Māʻalaea, Waikapū, South Maui) submitted testimony to the Board offering his full support for the Board to impose the maximum penalty under the law against Nakoa’s owners for the devastating damage caused to the reef at Honolua Bay.

A $117,471.97 fine was finalized during a July 28, 2023 BLNR meeting, but after six months, the settlement still has not materialized. Therefore, the state is now resubmitting the administrative enforcement action against Jim Jones, Noelani Yacht Charters, LLC, Kevin S. Albert, Kimberly L. Albert, and the Albert Revocable Trust.


To compensate the State of Hawaiʻi for the damage to natural resources on public lands, the restoration of such natural resources, and the cost of investigation, the Division of Aquatic Resources recommended the fine, which includes more than $60,000 in resource value and nearly $57,000 in administrative costs.

As the Senator for the area encompassing Honolua Bay, McKelvey testified that he is “dedicated to advocating for the protection and preservation of Hawaiʻi’s natural resources and is compelled to express his concern and assert the need for appropriate consequences for such actions.”

In his testimony to the Board, McKelvey stressed that “aquatic life has been disrupted, fragile coral formations have been decimated, and the ecological balance of the reef has been severely compromised. Furthermore, the destruction of this natural treasure has had a significant impact on the local community, which relies on cultural and recreational activities centered around Honolua Bay.”


“It is crucial to recognize that the imposition of the maximum penalty allowed by law for such offenses serves as an essential deterrent to prevent future incidents and protect Hawaii’s natural assets,” said Senator McKelvey. “The severity of this incident warrants a strong response from the Board, demonstrating our commitment to safeguarding our coastal ecosystem and sending a clear message that such actions will not be tolerated.”

“I firmly believe that the owners of the vessel Nakoa must be held accountable for their actions and be subjected to the fullest extent of the law,” Senator McKelvey emphasized.

He urged the board to impose the maximum penalty.

*Maui Now’s Wendy Osher contributed to this report.

Source: Maui News

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