Man suspected of killing turtle

  • Photo courtesy state Department of Public Safety

    Bronson Nakaahiki

KEKAHA — Officials don’t think there’s a connection between the two green sea turtle killings that happened in Hawaii in May, and they’re still looking for those involved.

Wednesday, 32-year-old Bronson Nakaahiki of Kekaha was arrested for allegedly slicing a green sea turtle’s throat and harvesting its meat on Kekaha Beach.

The first was butchered at Onekahakaha County Beach Park in South Hilo on May 5.

“No apparent connection between yesterday’s incident there on Kauai and the one last weekend on the Big Island,” said Dan Dennison, spokesman for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources on Thursday.

He said the Kekaha turtle was reported by Kauai Police Department to the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement at about 2:40 p.m. Wednesday.

“Witnesses reported seeing (Nakaahiki) allegedly slice a threatened green sea turtle’s throat and then harvest meat from it on Kekaha Beach,” DLNR officials said.

Nakaahiki was arrested and charged with take of an endangered species, which carries with it a fine of not less than $250 or imprisonment for a first offense.

Killing, harming or harassing green sea turtles, which are listed as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, is against both federal and state laws.

State Sheriffs transported Nakaahiki into custody and he was released pending a court appearance.

The turtle, found on Hawaii Island’s Onekahakaha County Beach Park on May 5, was discovered by a couple that reported the incident at 11 a.m. on that day after finding the turtle floating belly-up in a cove.

Its front flippers were amputated.

“It is clearly illegal and there are no provisions for cultural take of endangered or threatened animals like (green sea) turtles,” Dennison said.

During their investigation, DLNR said the “turtle’s front two flippers were amputated and it appeared the suspect(s) was interrupted and left the scene without the turtle.”

Anyone with information on these or any other illegal activities involving turtles or other endangered and threatened animals is asked to immediately call the DOCARE statewide hotline at 643-DLNR or report it anonymously via the free DLNRTip app on their smartphone.


Jessica Else, environmental reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or

  1. Imua44 May 11, 2018 5:32 am Reply

    There are too many turtles. They are thriving. They are the reason for so many shark attacks. Turtle is Jaws favorite food. If a kanaka was eating traditional food, whats the Big deal.

    1. Steven McMacken May 12, 2018 7:10 am Reply


  2. Jake May 11, 2018 6:39 am Reply

    Damn Tourists !!

    No respect for the Aina !!

  3. harryoyama2 May 11, 2018 10:05 am Reply

    It sounds like the only regulation that DLNR does is “manini” offences against Native Hawaiians, like hunting or in this case turtle harvesting. But then DLNR is so corrupt in not following established laws concerning large parcels of land of protecting water rights or access to culture native practices. This incompetent State organization should be disbanded.

    1. Steven McMacken May 12, 2018 7:10 am Reply


  4. No_They_Didn't May 11, 2018 11:19 am Reply

    What? A turtle? There is no law against killing a sea fish.

    1. Steven McMacken May 12, 2018 7:12 am Reply


  5. Anonymous May 11, 2018 1:01 pm Reply

    I have kanaka friends from Keaukaha that eat turtle just as their ancestors did for many generations. They need to change the laws so this can be done with a tag limit similar to other fish species for Native Hawaiians. Its sad to say but mostly Malihinis complain about this kind of thing. It was never taboo to eat turtle or dogs until the missionaries came. If a kanaka wants to eat a turtle, he should be allowed to.

  6. George Ho May 11, 2018 2:32 pm Reply

    No, there aren’t too many turtles. Ignorance is bliss. Observe near a turtle nesting area or feeding area and one may jump to that conclusion. Shark attacks are not the result of excess turtles, it is from over fishing. Hungry sharks seek out food, if they can’t find it where it normally would be. And finally, ‘no less than $250’? The penalty might as well say you must eat at McDonald’s. Get real – set a real consequence (AND FOLLOW THRU) and maybe then humans think twice.

  7. ok then May 11, 2018 5:56 pm Reply

    Lots of ignorant comments. Pretty lame to kill turtles. Get a job and buy food at Big Save. Break the law pay the price pretty simple.

  8. My Two Cent May 11, 2018 9:53 pm Reply

    Native Hawaiian hunting and gathering rights. Leave da braddah alone. FREE LANCE KAAUMOANA!!!! FREE LANCE KAAUMOANA!!! FREE LANCE KAAUMOANA!!!

  9. My Two Cent May 11, 2018 9:55 pm Reply


  10. ok then May 12, 2018 12:29 pm Reply

    In the past the harvesting of turtles was under the control of the Ali’i. That being said we are not living in the 1800s anymore. There is no need to harvest turtles any longer. Things change and in this case for the better.

  11. Ares Ahuimanu August 4, 2018 12:30 pm Reply

    Bruh! unreal this is why i gottah shake my head always get people talking bubbles about something before seeing the big picture. We need to raise there numbers first to even consider putting them up on the hunting list. Second the turtles is on the endangered list which means there getting close to the critically endangered. So tell me what happens when there gone, what then!? Talk about the history when turtles were once hunted for food and was ok, but the fact is people over fished everything, its not like how it was back then when people cared and shared, and took just enough for them selves. You can sit here and argue, but the numbers dont lie, open your eyes! ike i ka malamalama!

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