STAND. COM. REP. NO. 50

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1093

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Colleen Hanabusa

President of the Senate

Twenty-Fourth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2007

State of Hawaii

 

Madam:

 

Your Committees on Water, Land, Agriculture, and Hawaiian Affairs and Education, to which was referred S.B. No. 1093 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO OCEAN HEALTH CONSENSUS,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to develop a community-based consensus for managing Hawaii's marine resources by appropriating funds for the creation of an ocean health consensus project.

 

Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the University of Hawaii, Aqua Lung, Frogman Charters, Jack's Diving Locker, Trilogy Excursions, the Ocean Tourism Coalition, Lahaina Divers, Maui-Molokai Sea Cruises Prince Kuhio, Expeditions, the Nature Conservancy, Maui Dive Shop/Alii Nui, and three private individuals. Testimony in opposition to this measure was submitted by a private individual. A private individual submitted comments.

 

Hawaii has the highest level of marine endemism of any place of similar size in the tropics. Twenty-five per cent of the fish species native to Hawaii are found nowhere else in the world. Scientists estimate that a number of native fish species have declined by more than seventy-five per cent over the past one hundred years. This is a loss that affects the livelihood of fishermen, Native Hawaiian culture and practices, and Hawaii's food supply. Due to Hawaii's geographic isolation, it is crucial that the State's shore reef systems and fisheries achieve and maintain a level of self-sufficiency and sustainability.

 

Your Committees find that there is a critical need to obtain consensus among the various stakeholders who use Hawaii's marine resources for sustenance, recreation, and commercial production. Establishing a community-based consensus on the management of Hawaii's marine resources will provide valuable input and tools in the development of a plan to protect, preserve, and enhance the State's marine resources for the benefit of future generations.

 

The intent of this measure is to provide sustainable measures for the continued presence and growth of Hawaii's unique and delicate marine resources. The creation of a community-based ocean health consensus is consistent with efforts to create a more sustainable Hawaii.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Adding ocean tourism as one of the key stakeholder representatives to be included in the consensus project; and

 

(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of style and consistency.

 

Your Committees recognize and note the concerns from the Department of Land and Natural Resources regarding the lack of guidance on the actual process by which the key stakeholders will be selected and convene for the consensus, and the time frame in which the outcome of this project will be accomplished. Your Committees appreciate the Department's willingness to work with the University of Hawaii and the Center for Conservation Research and Training to develop a framework and timeline for the consensus project.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Water, Land, Agriculture, and Hawaiian Affairs and Education that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1093, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1093, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Water, Land, Agriculture, and Hawaiian Affairs and Education,

 

____________________________

NORMAN SAKAMOTO, Chair

 

____________________________

RUSSELL S. KOKUBUN, Chair