STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3463

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.R. No. 96

 

 

 

Honorable Shan S. Tsutsui

President of the Senate

Twenty-Sixth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2012

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Water, Land, and Housing and Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.R. No. 96 entitled:

 

"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,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to urge the Department of Land and Natural Resources to adopt rules to regulate and control the harvesting of opihi.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from The Nature Conservancy and two individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, University of Hawaii, and one individual.

 

Your Committees find that opihi picking is a dangerous activity, as reflected in the Native Hawaiian saying, "He ia make ka opihi", which means "opihi is the fish of death". Between April 1999 and September 2001, there have been fifteen reported deaths resulting from the pursuit or picking of opihi from Hawaii's hazardous and unpredictable coastal areas. These opihi pickers have died from drowning, falling from cliffs, or in one case, getting stuffed into a blowhole by waves.

 

Your Committees further find that opihi populations have been severely depleted and opihi are becoming increasingly difficult to find. There now exists a danger of losing not only a unique maritime animal but also a connection to Hawaiian history and culture. It is critical that the State implement safeguards to sustain the opihi population for future generations.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Water, Land, and Housing and Hawaiian Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees concur with the intent and purpose of S.R. No. 96 and recommend its adoption.

 

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

 

____________________________

BRICKWOOD GALUTERIA, Chair

 

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DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair