Maui Discussion

RETRACTION: Lahaina Harbormaster “Making up Laws”

April 25, 2014, 2:55 PM HST
* Updated April 29, 2:17 PM
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By Mike Tappero, Lahaina

lahaina harbor

The water by Lahaina Harbor. Photo by Carlos Rock.

Editor’s note, April 28: Mike Tappero had the following retraction to make on this letter–

I would like to make a retraction comment to the letter about the Lahaina harbormaster. I didn’t have my facts straight and used poor judgement in the words I used writing the letter. I would like to apologize publicly to the harbormaster on this page for the oversight.

I’m just wondering if anyone is aware of what is going on in Lahaina Harbor.

The harbormaster is taking it upon himself to make up laws and forcing slip holders to follow his new laws.


Somehow he has DLNR there backing his stories up. Most directly this is pertaining to filleting fish at the harbor.


There have been many sharks in the harbor, so everyone has been diligent to not throw fish carcasses or parts in the water.

However, the harbormaster has recently said it is illegal to fillet fish at all at the harbor. Which it is not. When questioned about the law, he backtracks, changes his words, and blatantly lies (for example saying he spoke with every harbor in the state and none allow filleting fish, which is simply not true).

The issue here isn’t really the filleting or the sharks, the issue is he is lying and making us follow his made up “laws.”


He works for the state, and therefore represents the state. As I understand our government, no one person in any position of authority may have the power to simply decide something into law and force citizens to follow. We are being forced to jump through his hoops, under the guise of him stating things are illegal and we will be charged and fined for our actions (that are not actually illegal).

My question, or point is, that his superior (or their superior, etc.) need to be made aware of this abuse of power by a state official. And something needs to be done about it. I know fishermen filleting fish are not breaking any laws, but is the harbormaster breaking laws by abusing his position and lying to us? What can be done? Something needs to be.

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