THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

96

TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2012

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

urging the Department of Land and Natural Resources to adopt rules to regulate and control opihi harvesting TO ALLOW opihi stocks TO naturally replenish themselves and support sustainable harvesting AND TO ANNUALLY REPORT ON ITS EFFORTS TO REPLENISH OPIHI STOCKS, THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THESE EFFORTS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS AND PROPOSED LEGISLATION FOR IMPROVEMENT.

 

 


WHEREAS, opihi comprises four species of saltwater Hawaiian limpets that are found nowhere else on earth; and

 

WHEREAS, these four species of opihi include:

 

(1) The blackfoot opihi (Cellana exarata), also known as "opihi makaiauli," found on the upper portion of wave washed intertidal shores from Puhahonu (Gardner Pinnacles) to the island of Hawaii;

 

(2) The yellowfoot opihi (Cellana sandwicensis), also known as "opihi alinalina," found on the middle-low portion of wave washed intertidal shores from Mokupapapa (French Frigate Shoals) to the island of Hawaii;

 

(3) Opihi koele (Cellana talcosa), also known as the "kneecap" opihi, found from the shallow subtidal to the middle intertidal zone on shores from Niihau and Kauai to Hawaii; and

 

(4) The greenfoot opihi (Cellana melanostoma), commonly observed through the intertidal zone from Puhahonu to Nihoa, and less commonly observed in the main Hawaiian Islands; and

 

WHEREAS, opihi picking is a dangerous activity, as recognized by the native Hawaiian saying, "he ia make ka opihi", meaning "opihi is the fish of death"; and

 

WHEREAS, between April 1999 and September 2001, there have been fifteen reported deaths resulting from the pursuit of finding and picking opihi from Hawaii's hazardous and unpredictable coastal areas; and

 

WHEREAS, on April 30, 1999, Anthony Jeremy Ancheta, age twenty-seven, of Paauhau, died picking opihi and was survived by son Reyn Maria, father Tony, mother Frances, brother Troy L., sisters Jodell K. and Jolene K., and grandfather Candido; and

 

WHEREAS, on December 30, 2000, Arthur Z. Anderson, age forty-two, of Kurtistown, died when he hit his head on rocks and drowned while picking opihi on the shoreline at Kawa Bay in Kau; and

 

WHEREAS, on January 20, 2001, Jerry Toshio Nakaya, age forty-nine, of Honolulu, died after a large wave swept him into the ocean off Waiahukini Beach and was survived by mother Tsukie and brother Elmer; and

 

WHEREAS, also in January 2001, Kevin Higa, age thirty-six, of Hilo, a Keaau Middle School computer resource teacher, died picking opihi and was survived by parents Thomas and Doris, brother Kurt, and grandmother Yoshiko Miyashiro; and

 

WHEREAS, on February 20, 2002, Wilmar Cablay, age thirty-two, of Maui, died picking opihi and was survived by brother Arlito and ten year-old son Isaiah; and

 

WHEREAS, a pile of opihi and Wilmar Cablay's bag were found on the cliffs above the place his body was recovered; and

 

WHEREAS, on May 29, 2002, William Ishizu, age thirty-five, of Hilo, died picking opihi; and

 

WHEREAS, a family member found the body of William Ishizu at the bottom of a twenty-foot cliff; and

 

WHEREAS, on March 31, 2003, Dino "Di" Maipoinaoeiau Kaawa, age eighteen, of Naalehu, died when he was swept away by a wave when picking opihi with family members and was survived by mother Evon; sister Melinda; brother Shawn; grandfathers David Jr., Nelson Kaupu and McKinley Davis; grandmothers Eleanor Makida and Marjorie Kaawa; hanai sisters Tanya Silva and Hiilani Lipe; and hanai brothers Halley, Michael Jordan, Pomai Olson, Nathaniel Davis, Dason Udac, and David IV; and

 

WHEREAS, on April 15, 2003, Leo Kozlowski Jr., age thirty-five, of Hilo, a self-employed carpenter, died while picking opihi and was survived by wife Fran; son Leo A. III; daughter Kortnee A.; father Leo A. Sr.; mother Renee Neal; brothers Walter J. Kozlowski and James Mercado; and sisters Karolotta-Ann Algono, Jamie Pedigo, and Chilli-Rae Soon; and

 

WHEREAS, on January 2, 2007, Leslie DeloSantos, age fifty-seven, of Onomea, died while picking opihi; and

 

WHEREAS, Leslie DeloSantos' family members last saw him in late December of 2006, when he left to pick opihi, and his body was never found; and

 

WHEREAS, on May 10, 2008, David M. Davis, age thirty-seven, of Kailua-Kona, died when he fell off a three hundred-foot cliff at the end of Old Cane Haul Road between Ookala and Paauilo while picking opihi; and

 

WHEREAS, on June 28, 2008, Nathan Libarios, age fifty-eight, of Kainaliu, an iron worker in the construction industry, died while picking opihi and was survived by sons Nathan Libarios and Tevin and Tyron Libarios-Moses; daughters Jermaine Larsen and Keliko Libarios-Moses; brother Jr.; sisters Patsy Keawe, Dottie Ariel, and Cheryl Dacalio; and two grandchildren; and

 

WHEREAS, fire Department rescue divers recovered shorts, an opihi bag, and human remains with what appeared to be shark bite marks that were suspected to be those of Nathan Libarios; and

 

WHEREAS, on September 13, 2008, Len Tokuo Nakano, age fifty-four, of Hilo, a Department of Water Supply electrical-mechanical supervisor, died when he was swept into a blowhole while picking opihi and was survived by parents Tokuichi and Fusae; sister Yvonne Heckman; and daughter Sybil Ahmed; and

 

WHEREAS, on September 12, 2009, David Kawika Magallanes, age forty-four, of Kailua-Kona, disappeared while picking opihi at Keahole Point; and

 

WHEREAS, on June 22, 2010, Joseph Pacheco, Jr., age forty-one, of King's Landing, left his home to pick opihi along the King's Landing coast, and never returned; and

 

WHEREAS, Joseph Pacheco's backpack and dog were found about a mile south of Shipman Beach and three days later, his remains were recovered from the ocean about a mile north of Papai Bay; and

 

WHEREAS, Joseph Pacheco, Jr. was survived by sons Joseph Pacheco of Berlin and John Pacheco of Clementon; six grandchildren; mother Dolores Pacheco of West Berlin; brothers and sisters Marie Schaeffer, Sandy Clark, Janet Pacheco, John Pacheco, Patty Koerner, and Rob Pacheco; and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends; and

 

WHEREAS, on September 14, 2011, Brystan Alidon, age twenty, of Hilo, a yard service worker, died while picking opihi and was survived by companion Shontae Agustin; daughter Kiari A. Subia; parents Frank and Dayle Santos, and Michael and Melissa Alidon; brothers Frank "Olo" Santos, Bronson Atkins, and Ronson and Joseph Alidon; sisters Nichole "Kolie" Kekahuna and Justice Santos; grandparents Iris Oda and Pedro "Papa" Milar, Stanley T. Oda, and Richard and Harriet Lei Alidon; and great-grandparent Loretta; and

 

WHEREAS, despite the dangers of this activity, opihi is a delicacy that holds great cultural importance; and

 

WHEREAS, as such, opihi populations are dwindling due to popularity and overharvesting; and

 

WHEREAS, the most notable impact is on Oahu where Cellana exarata and Cellana sandwicensis are rare and Cellana talcosa is functionally absent; and

 

WHEREAS, the key to increasing the sustainable harvest of opihi populations is protecting a portion of the populations so that they may reproduce and create the next generation; and

 

WHEREAS, fisheries replenishment and management areas are a promising management tool to protect breeding populations while allowing harvest in unprotected areas; and

 

WHEREAS, the life history characteristics of opihi are perfectly suited to this management strategy because the adults will stay within the protected areas, and the opihi larvae can disperse throughout an island and replenish both harvested and protected areas; and

 

WHEREAS, the Division of Aquatic Resources of the Department of Land and Natural Resources manages the State's aquatic resources and ecosystems through programs in commercial fisheries and resource enhancement; aquatic resources protection, habitat enhancement, and education; and recreational fisheries; and

 

WHEREAS, the Division's major program areas include projects to manage or enhance fisheries for long-term sustainability of the resources, protect and restore the aquatic environment, protect native and resident aquatic species and their habitat, and provide facilities and opportunities for recreational fishing; and

 

WHEREAS, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, through its rulemaking authority, is the appropriate agency to oversee the rehabilitation of the natural populations of all Hawaiian opihi species and establish a new direction for the management of the fishery; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2012, that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is urged to adopt rules in accordance to chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to regulate and control opihi harvesting, so that the opihi stocks may naturally replenish themselves and support sustainable harvesting; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the rules adopted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources apply to all known Hawaiian opihi, including Cellana exarata (blackfoot), Cellana sandwicensis (yellowfoot), Cellana talcosa (koele), and Cellana melanostoma (greenfoot); and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the rules adopted also accomplish the following:

 

(1) Restrict at any time the taking, harvesting, or possessing of opihi from off-shore islets in the State, including those islands listed in the Atlas of Hawaii, Third Edition (1998), man-made jetties and breakwaters, fishery management areas, fisheries replenishment areas, natural area reserves, refuges, and marine life conservation districts established by the Division of Aquatic Resources of the Department of Land and Natural Resources;

 

(2) Restrict at any time the taking, harvesting, or possessing of opihi from below the waterline of any coastal area or nearshore waters of the islands of the State;

 

(3) Restrict during closed seasons the taking, harvesting, or possessing of opihi from above the waterline of the coastal areas or nearshore waters of the islands; provided that the closed seasons be determined jointly by the Division of Aquatic Resources of the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology of the University of Hawaii;

 

(4) Allow the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission to govern the taking, harvesting, and possessing of opihi in the Kahoolawe Island Reserve, including the islands of Puukoae and Aleale;

 

(5) Recognize individuals who are exercising Native Hawaiian gathering rights and traditional practices as authorized by law, or as permitted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources pursuant to article XII, section 7, of the Hawaii State Constitution, by allowing these individuals to take, harvest, and possess opihi only for those purposes; and

 

(6) Establish a five-year moratorium on the taking or harvesting of opihi from the coastal areas or nearshore areas of the island of Oahu; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is requested to submit to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2013 and every regular session thereafter, an annual report that includes the following:

 

(1) Updates on the development, adoption, and implementation of rules pursuant to chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes;

 

(2) The effectiveness and enforcement of the rules adopted to replenish the opihi stocks;

 

(3) Ongoing discussions and work with the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology of the University of Hawaii regarding establishing open and closed seasons for the taking and harvesting of opihi from above the waterline of the coastal areas or nearshore waters of the islands, gathering and compiling baseline and subsequent annual data on opihi stocks, and efforts in replenishing the opihi stocks;

 

(4) Annual data on opihi stocks, including baseline data to be submitted in the annual report to the Legislature prior to the Regular Session of 2013, and the efforts and any issues encountered in gathering and compiling such data; and

 

(5) Recommendations and any proposed legislation; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, Administrator of the Division of Aquatic Resources, Chairperson of the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission; Chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Dean of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

Opihi; Resource Management; Department of Land and Natural Resources; Rules; Annual Reports