Written by on October 25, 2018

The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) is asking for help in identifying two men they’d like to question in connection with the recent apparent poisonings of several East Hawai‘i streams.

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, hundreds of dead Tahitian prawns were found in the streams shortly after the men were picked up on surveillance cameras at the Hawai‘i Tropical Botanical Garden. This happened in the Onomea Papaikou/Pepeekeo area and Alakahi Stream where it crosses Old Mamalahoa Highway to its ocean entrance past the Onomea Na Ala Hele trail.

The two male suspects are described as:
• Mid-20s, 5’6”, 135 lbs. and black hair
• Mid-30s, 5’8”, 145 lbs. and black hair with a short ponytail.

Officers report that the day before, Monday, Oct. 1. at about 10:00 a.m., two men snuck into the garden where they were contacted by staff and told to leave until they paid the entrance fee. It’s believed they re-entered the gardens by crawling under a security fence that crosses over one of the streams. A short time later, their images were picked up on the garden’s cameras.

Last May, DLNR/DOCARE issued a warning for people to avoid buying prawns from roadside stands or anywhere else when they don’t know the source. While there’s no evidence anyone has gotten sick eating prawns killed by poisons, there are stories in the community of people getting sick after eating them.

It is a Class C felony to poison streams or rivers in Hawai‘i.

Anyone with information on the suspected stream poisonings or if you can provide help in identifying the persons-of-interest, please contact DOCARE:

Hilo Office – 808-933-3460
Statewide Tip Line – 643-DLNR (3567)
DLNR Tip411 App, a free download for iPhone or Android devices

For more information:

To view the video, “Killing Stream Life to Collect Tahitian Prawns,” go to

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