Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 1665

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 1




Honorable Colleen Hanabusa

President of the Senate

Twenty-Fifth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2009

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture, and Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 1665, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to prohibit the sale of public lands on which government-owned Hawaiian fishponds are located.


     Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by one state agency, six organizations, and six public citizens.  One state agency submitted comments.  Written testimony presented to your Committee may be reviewed on the Legislature's website.


     Your Committee finds that fishponds were and continue to be important cultural resources for native Hawaiians.  Fishponds today serve as a source of sustenance for communities, and they offer a wide range of educational opportunities.  Fishponds can be used to teach students mathematics, science, and native Hawaiian culture.  Fishpond restoration is a major part of the native Hawaiian cultural revival movement, with a number of groups across Hawaii taking on the kuleana of bringing once-forgotten fishponds back to life.


     Your Committee further finds that one of the most important steps the State could take to restore nearshore fisheries would be to rehabilitate the nearshore estuarine habitat, and an important component would be reviving fresh spring water.  Habitat loss, fresh water diversion, siltation, and pollution are key components affecting the condition of the reef.  Fishponds provide a habitat for the recruitment (where infant fish survive) of nearshore reef fisheries, and rehabilitating the fishponds will provide the nursery grounds necessary to ensure the protection of nearshore fisheries. 


     Your Committee has amended this measure by making it effective upon approval.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture, and Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1665, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1665, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.


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