HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

32

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 


HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

urging the department of land and natural resources to promote greater awareness of ocean safety measures for individuals who gather or harvest opihi.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, opihi, which includes Cellana exarata (blackfoot), Cellana sandwicencis (yellowfoot), Cellana talcosa (koele), and Cellana melanostoma (greenfoot), is a widely enjoyed delicacy in Hawaii; and

 

WHEREAS, ordinarily, commercial opihi harvesters charge between $200 and $250 for a gallon of opihi that is cleaned and shelled; however, during periods of high demand, opihi can command up to $400 per gallon--and even more under certain circumstances; and

 

WHEREAS, because the opihi-harvesting trade can be so lucrative, individuals often risk life and limb to gather these limpets, which tend to live on rocks where the ocean surf is roughest; and

 

WHEREAS, accordingly a Hawaiian saying -- "He ia make ka opihi" -- describes the opihi as "the fish of death"; and

 

WHEREAS, according to the Department of Health, from 1993 to 1997, nine individuals drowned while picking opihi in the State; and

 

WHEREAS, there were at least 13 opihi-related deaths from 1999 to 2009 on the island of Hawaii alone; and

 

WHEREAS, individuals must be made more aware of the many dangers that accompany opihi gathering and harvesting; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Land and Natural Resources is uniquely positioned to increase such awareness among opihi gatherers and harvesters; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-eighth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2015, that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is urged to promote greater awareness of ocean safety measures for individuals who gather or harvest opihi, such as:

 

(1) The wearing of flotation devices;

 

(2) The wearing of protective footwear;

 

(3) The use of brightly colored rope at least 200 feet in length that can be readily seen in the water;

 

(4) The use of communication devices;

 

(5) Gathering or harvesting opihi with a partner; and

 

(6) Informing others of their whereabouts; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor and Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

Opihi Gathering and Harvesting; Safety