The owners of a 197-foot-long superyacht have been slapped with a $100,000 fine after damaging more than 11,000 square feet of coral with the vessel's anchor.
The damage in Kailua Bay occurred back in October 2018, and was a violation of Hawaii Administrative Rules, but the state's Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) said it would be difficult to prosecute the owners of the Formosa because the vessel – which is currently up for sale with a whopping price tag of $41 million – operated under a foreign flag (as many yachts do for tax purposes).
However, in an announcement this week, the DLNR said that the owners – Formosa Wealth Management Group – had settled with the state for the amount of $100,000, which will help fund the restoration of the coral reefs in West Hawaii.
Nikki Smith, an aquatic biologist with the DLNR's Division of Aquatic Resources, commented that much of the damage came from the anchor's chain ‘swinging through the coral bed'. Biologists from the division did three dives to reposition more than 50 large colonies and stabilize more than 250 coral fragments.