H.C.R. NO.














URGing the department of land and natural resources to proceed immediately with the adoption of rules to regulate the ornamental REEF fishery industry in south Maui and Kaneohe Bay.




     WHEREAS, the International Coral Reef Initiative has designated the year 2008 as the "International Year of the Reef," and various events have been scheduled throughout the year that will focus on increasing awareness about the economic, social, ecological, and cultural value of Hawaii's coral reefs; and


     WHEREAS, the International Year of the Reef designation is an opportunity to:


     (1)  Bring attention to the threats that could or are currently endangering the health of Hawaii's marine ecosystems; and


     (2)  Propose and take action on international and local levels to mitigate or avoid these threats;




     WHEREAS, the state is home to a majority of the nation's coral reefs, including the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument established in December 2006; and


     WHEREAS, Hawaii's reefs are vibrant, living organisms, which support over 7,000 known species of marine plants and animals; and


     WHEREAS, the ocean and its living creatures who occupy its reefs and waters held great significance and continue to hold great importance in native Hawaiian culture; and

     WHEREAS, the health of Hawaii's reefs and the ecosystems associated with these reefs are an integral part to the health of Hawaii's largest economic engine-–the visitor industry; and


     WHEREAS, large volumes of ornamental reef fish, which are all critical to the health of Hawaii's reefs, are being collected for aquariums, including herbivores, such as yellow tang and other surgeon fish, Hawaiian cleaner wrasse, and butterfly fish; and


     WHEREAS, the collection of reef fish for aquariums are not effectively regulated and enforced because it is difficult to quantify the exact number of ornamental reef fish taken from the state's reefs; and


     WHEREAS, over the past several years, the Legislature has received a barrage of requests to take action on measures relating to fishing rights, and the development and implementation of rules regarding the regulation of taking ornamental reef fish for aquarium use will assist in the protection and conservation of Hawaii's reef fish and the health of their fragile ecosystems; and


     WHEREAS, Chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, provides the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) with the statutory authority to adopt relevant rules, and it is not the Legislature's intent to supersede the rulemaking authority of DLNR; and


     WHEREAS, the Division of Aquatic Resources of DLNR has the personnel and expertise necessary to conduct the scientific studies required to justify the adoption of a rule; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, the Senate concurring, that DLNR is urged to proceed immediately with the adoption of rules to regulate the ornamental reef fishery industry in south Maui and Kaneohe Bay; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in the process of formulating rules, DLNR is requested to confer with all geographical area stakeholders, including the Aha Moku Council, Kaneohe Bay Regional Council, licensed commercial permitted aquarium fishers, non-commercial permitted aquarium fishers, commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, commercially-licensed tour boat operators, recreational boaters, and recreational swimmers, snorkelers, and divers; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DLNR is requested to submit a report of its progress, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature at least 20 days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2009; and


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









Report Title: 

DLNR; Rules; Ornamental Reef Fishery Industry