H.C.R. NO.



H.D. 1






REQUESTING THE Department of land and natural resources to conduct PUBLIC MEETINGS to IDENTIFy COASTAL AREAS that should be designated marine life conservation districts or fishery management areas due to overfishing and habitat degradation.



WHEREAS, nearshore fish and other marine life have played important roles in the lifestyles of Hawaii's people; and

WHEREAS, throughout the years, Hawaii's residents have held these marine resources in high regard due to their recreational as well as subsistence value; and

WHEREAS, many of these marine resources have commercial value, some as food fish and others as aquarium pets; and

WHEREAS, in addition, marine resources provide a unique attraction to Hawaii's visitors, especially to our growing eco-tourism industry; and

WHEREAS, unfortunately, due to overfishing and habitat degradation, many nearshore fish resources have declined dramatically; studies indicate that many of these stocks have been reduced to levels below their capacity to replenish themselves; and

WHEREAS, establishment of no-take fish refuges such as Marine Life Conservation Districts (MLCD) and Fishery Management Areas (FMA) is a fishing management strategy designed to remedy overfishing and habitat degradation; and

WHEREAS, MLCD are essentially marine parks that usually allow only limited fishing; currently, two MLCD, at Hanauma Bay and Waikiki, prohibit all forms of harvesting; and

WHEREAS, on the other hand, FMA may include areas that are closed to certain types of fishing, while remaining open to others; they may also include areas that are temporarily closed to allow fish populations to recover; and

WHEREAS, in addition, since 1994, the State has also supported community-based management of subsistence fishing areas; and

WHEREAS, although community-based fishing areas have proven effective in replenishing fish populations, studies indicate that partially protected reserves or rotational reserves are no more effective than areas that are open to fishing; and

WHEREAS, despite the creation of a variety of fish refuges, less than one percent of Hawaii's coastal areas are currently managed in this manner; to replenish our dwindling fish populations, some maintain that fish refuges should be significantly expanded to include up to ten percent of our coastal areas; and

WHEREAS, the establishment of additional protective fish refuges has the potential of not only replenishing breeding stock but also providing excellent fishing opportunities along the boundaries of these refuges due to the spill-over effect; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-First Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2002, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is requested to conduct public meetings to identify additional coastal areas that should be designated MLCD or FMA due to overfishing and habitat degradation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DLNR also consider ways to gain community support in the areas where additional fish refuges might be established; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DLNR report its findings and recommendations to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2003; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.






Report Title:

Fish refuges; identification of additional coastal areas