STAND. COM. REP. NO. 32
RE: S.B. No. 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 S.B. No. 1 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO OPIHI,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to rehabilitate the natural populations of all Hawaiian opihi species and establish a new direction for the management of the fishery.
Specifically, this measure:
(1) Establishes a five-year moratorium on the harvesting of opihi on Oahu; and
(2) Establishes a ban on taking or harvesting opihi statewide, subject to open and closed seasons and the traditional rights of certain ahupuaa tenants.
Testimony in support of the measure was presented by one state agency, five nongovernmental organizations, and one public citizen. One state agency submitted comments on the measure.
Your Committee finds that breeding adult opihi needs to be protected to ensure opihi populations will replenish themselves. Opihi have free swimming larvae which can disperse from the no take areas into areas where harvest is legal. Oahu requires more drastic actions to rehabilitate its opihi populations due to overharvesting.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources estimates that it would require two staff per island devoting roughly fifty per cent of their time to the task to meet the proposed opihi species monitoring requirement. The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources recognizes the importance of monitoring opihi species, however, the Division is small and the monitoring requirement may affect the biennium budget.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Replacing the monitoring requirement, with the requirement that the Department of Land and Natural Resources report to the Legislature each year on the general effectiveness of the bans imposed by this measure, and the enforcement thereof;
(2) Clarifying that native Hawaiian gathering rights do not affect the prohibition of taking opihi from below the waterline; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive changes for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
Your Committee believes that the amendments made to this measure fulfill the intent of this measure, which is to rehabilitate the Hawaiian opihi populations.
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 S.B. No. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture, and Hawaiian Affairs,
CLAYTON HEE, Chair