H.C.R. NO.














requesting actions to prohibit the collection of reef wildlife, to protect reef ecosystems, to develop visitor reef etiquette, to incorporate traditional hawaiian cultural practices into all economic development decisions, and to uphold the state motto in all land management practices.




     WHEREAS, the kanaka maoli, the indigenous people of Hawaii, consider the health and well-being of Hawaii reef wildlife and reef ecosystems to be essential to the survival of the kanaka maoli culture and vital to sustaining the physical and mental health of the indigenous people of Hawaii; and


     WHEREAS, indigenous Hawaiians throughout the archipelago still practice subsistence that is dependent on the health of Hawaii's reef ecosystems; and


     WHEREAS, the kanaka maoli do not consider frivolous desires to possess reef wildlife as justification to disturb Hawaii's reef ecosystems; and


     WHEREAS, the kanaka maoli find it morally objectionable to take life found nowhere else on earth for selfish endeavors such as decoration, entertainment, and display in corporate offices and private homes around the world; and


     WHEREAS, the private aquarium industry has taken thousands of indigenous and endemic fish and invertebrates from Hawaii reefs daily for over a half century, and this has contributed directly to the decline of Hawaii's reefs; and


     WHEREAS, the State of Hawaii has been negligent in developing adequate regulations and statewide management of the private aquarium industry for over a half century; and


     WHEREAS, the kanaka maoli developed a culture deeply rooted and inseparable from Hawaii's unique natural ocean environment; and


     WHEREAS, the kanaka maoli practiced environmental management of the aina, the natural order within land, ocean, and air, that ensured the health and well-being of the aina for many future generations; and


     WHEREAS, the ocean was considered a kindred and powerful force to the kanaka maoli, and not only did the ocean provide sustenance for the people, but ocean life was also considered to have interdependent and familial relationships to the kanaka maoli; and


     WHEREAS, ocean life is considered sacred, and the diversity of species has an irreplaceable essence that needs to be respected for its spiritual significance and relationship with human life; and


     WHEREAS, the indigenous Hawaiian culture developed a kapu management system that avoided taking too much from the aina and structured society to be conscious of maintaining a balance between man's needs for sustenance and the need for abundance and care for the health of the ocean; and


     WHEREAS, the indigenous practice of maintaining natural ecosystems has been significantly altered over the past century, and endemic and indigenous Hawaiian species are rapidly becoming extinct; and


     WHEREAS, Hawaii has had more extinctions and declarations of endangered species than anywhere else in the world, and most of these species are endemic to Hawaii; and


     WHEREAS, the State of Hawaii is solely responsible for caring for the near-shore waters and the endangered marine mammals such as the ilio-holo-ika-uaua, the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal, and other larger predators and fish that depend on healthy reefs; and


     WHEREAS, the State of Hawaii has not provided the necessary care for many of the endemic species listed on the federal endangered species list; and


     WHEREAS, taking the last of our endemic Hawaiian wildlife is equivalent to taking the last tigers, the last pandas, the last exotic birds, the last reptiles, and the last of the wildlife on earth -- life that can never be recreated once they become extinct; and


     WHEREAS, if this trend of extinction of Hawaiian endemic species and fragile habitats continues, the kanaka maoli will lose sacred connections to the aina that are vital to their unique culture; and


     WHEREAS, the kanaka maoli understand that there are multiple human activities that now threaten the health of Hawaii's reefs, including the invasion of alien species, marine debris, climate change, pollution, and overfishing; and


     WHEREAS, it is irresponsible to continue to allow compounded threats to the reefs and ocean knowing that state managers cannot sufficiently manage existing threats to reefs; and


     WHEREAS, most of the State's one million three hundred thousand residents and millions of visitors enjoy Hawaii's reefs for their beauty; and


     WHEREAS, people who want to see Hawaii's unique reefs can visit the State, rather than taking home pieces of reef life just to possess them; and


     WHEREAS, aquarium collecting is contrary to the principles of the State of Hawaii motto, which is based on a kanaka maoli core cultural concept:  Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono, the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness; and


     WHEREAS, it is not pono, or right practice, to displace the life of Hawaii's reefs to satisfy the decadent desires of those who pay to covet the mystique and exotic beauty of Hawaii's natural resources; and


     WHEREAS, the taking of reef wildlife away from the ecosystems that connect the kanaka maoli to their past and their present culture is an abomination against the Hawaiian people and further corrupts the remnants of harmony that once existed in Hawaii between the host culture and the natural world; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2011, the Senate concurring, that the Governor is requested to end the sale of state permits for the collection of reef wildlife, including an immediate ban on the collection of all endemic reef fish and invertebrates to ensure that the unmitigated extinction of Hawaii's reef wildlife is immediately halted; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Governor is requested to provide that of all existing reef wildlife collection permits issued by the Department of Land and Natural Resources shall expire on June 30, 2011; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Governor is requested to take any actions necessary to end the collection of reef wildlife within a year of the date that this Concurrent Resolution is adopted; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is requested to reallocate its resources currently used to facilitate the reef wildlife collection industry, and apply these resources towards restoring reef ecosystems and to detect and address reef wildlife collection violations; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hawaii Tourism Authority is requested to develop visitor reef etiquette and awareness programs to promote respect for indigenous Hawaiian cultural principles pertaining to ocean and ocean wildlife user responsibilities; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism is requested to develop an official methodology to incorporate kanaka maoli cultural practices into all economic development considerations, to prevent economic ventures that destroy Hawaii's natural environment and incur clean up and restoration costs that burden taxpayers; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is requested to convene a working group that includes conservation and indigenous cultural leaders, to develop pono guidelines for upholding the principles of the state motto in land management practices; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the kanaka maoli are encouraged to contact all other indigenous people of the world to form a collaborative effort against the global trend of exploiting indigenous natural resources; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor; the Director of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources; the Chairperson of the Hawaii Tourism Authority's Board of Directors; and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.









Report Title: 

Aquatic Resources; Reef Wildlife Collection; Prohibition