STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1267

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.C.R. No. 7

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Hawaiian Affairs and Water and Land, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 7 entitled:

 

"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THE HISTORIC SUCCESS OF COMMUNITY STEWARDSHIP UNDER THE TRADITIONAL KONOHIKI FISHING RIGHTS SYSTEM IN SUSTAINING AN ABUNDANT NEARSHORE ENVIRONMENT AND A THRIVING POPULATION AND CULTURE, AND URGING THE STATE TO SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT, ADOPTION, AND IMPLEMENTATION OF CULTURALLY-GROUNDED, COMMUNITY-DRIVEN FISHERIES MANAGEMENT PROPOSALS TO STEWARD, RESTORE, AND PERPETUATE OUR NEARSHORE RESOURCES AND MAINTAIN AND PROTECT ASSOCIATED CULTURAL TRADITIONS AND VALUES,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Recognize the historic success of community-driven stewardship under the traditional konohiki fishing rights system in sustaining an abundant nearshore environment and a thriving population and culture throughout the islands of Hawaii; and

 

(2) Urge the Department of Land and Natural Resources to support the appropriate development, adoption, and implementation of culturally-grounded, community-driven fishery management proposals that seek to apply kipuka communities' intimate knowledge of their nearshore waters to steward, restore, and perpetuate their resources, and maintain and protect their cultural traditions and values.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources; Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Aha Moku Advisory Committee; Sierra Club of Hawaii; Kuaāina Ulu Auamo; Friends of Lanai; Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action; Hoomana Pono, LLC; Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action; and thirteen individuals.

 

Your Committees find that traditional Native Hawaiian resource management has been long-renowned for sustainably supporting a thriving population of up to a million inhabitants in the Hawaiian islands, prior to documented Western contact. Traditional ocean tenure played a key role in Native Hawaiian communities' ability to sustain themselves physically and spiritually, notwithstanding the inherently limited land resources of an island setting. The success of traditional resource management relied on ahupuaa tenants' intimate connection to and knowledge of their place, including their nearshore waters and ecosystems, as well as on the oversight of alii and their regional resource managers, or konohiki. Unfortunately, the konohiki fishing rights system was eventually abolished.

 

Notwithstanding the abolishment of the konohiki fishing rights system, a number of rural, kipuka communities continue to maintain an intimate understanding of and connection to their nearshore areas, and carry on the community-driven stewardship practices and harvesting traditions that konohiki fishing rights once protected throughout the islands. These kipuka communities have now expressed an interest to engage more formally with the State in proposing culturally-grounded and community-driven fisheries management proposals, including community-based subsistence fishery management area proposals, that can much more effectively protect, maintain, and perpetuate the resources of their nearshore waters, and ensure the continuation of cultural and subsistence traditions, values, and lifestyles for generations to come.

 

Your Committees further find that the success of a culturally-grounded, community-driven fishery management area can inspire other communities to develop an intimate knowledge of their own nearshore areas and work toward the restoration of their local resources and place-based traditions. The broader restoration of community-based marine resource management will improve the health of our nearshore environment, increase the food security of our residents, and sustain the cultural values and traditions that have long informed our shared understandings and unique social fabric.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Hawaiian Affairs and Water and Land that are attached to this report, your Committees concur with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 7 and recommend its adoption.

 

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

 

________________________________

KARL RHOADS, Chair

 

________________________________

MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair