STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2490

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 2079

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Water and Land and Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2079 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATED TO SHARK AND RAY PROTECTION,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to protect sharks and rays for ecological purposes, their value to the ocean recreation industry, and their value to Native Hawaiian cultural practices by:

 

(1) Prohibiting and imposing penalties and fines for knowingly capturing, killing, or taking a shark within state marine waters, and providing exceptions for certain special activity permits, the exercise of Native Hawaiian gathering rights and traditional cultural practices, and the protection of public safety; and

 

(2) Expanding the existing prohibition on knowingly capturing or killing a manta ray to apply to all rays.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources; The Humane Society of the United States; Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; For the Fishes' West Hawaii Humane Society; Keiko Conservation International; Animal Rights Hawaii; Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu; Center for Hawaiian Sovereignty Studies; One Ocean Research; One Ocean Global Team Maui; Hoomana Pono, LLC; Pony Wave; and approximately two hundred sixty individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from two individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

 

Your Committees find that sharks and rays are extremely important to ocean ecosystems. Sharks and rays are more vulnerable than most other fish species. They are long-lived and slow-growing, start reproducing at an advanced age, and produce relatively few offspring per year. Protection for sharks and rays ultimately means healthier, more resilient oceans and reefs that are better able to withstand pressures on the ocean ecosystem from climate change and pollution. Sharks and rays on the reefs not only play important ecological roles, but are also valued figures in Hawaiian culture and are important economically to ocean recreation industries and to tourism in Hawaii. By imposing penalties and fines to protect sharks and all rays in state marine waters, this measure recognizes the benefits of maintaining viable populations of these species.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Adopting the language suggested by the Department of Land and Natural Resources to add knowingly possessing, abusing, or entangling a shark or ray, whether alive or dead, to the list of prohibited types of actions upon a shark or ray;

 

(2) Expanding the list of prohibited types of actions upon a ray to include knowingly taking a ray;

 

(3) Removing the exemption for the exercise of Native Hawaiian gathering rights and traditional cultural practices from the prohibition on shark takings, and adding language to clarify that nothing in that offense shall be construed to restrict the exercise of Native Hawaiian gathering rights and traditional cultural practices protected pursuant to the state constitution;

 

(4) Adding language to clarify that nothing in the prohibition on the taking of rays shall be construed to restrict the exercise of Native Hawaiian gathering rights and traditional cultural practices protected pursuant to the state constitution;

 

(5) Adding the Hawaiian name manō for sharks and hīhīmanu for rays to the respective section titles of the two prohibitions;

 

(6) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and

 

(7) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Water and Land and Judiciary that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2079, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2079, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

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

 

________________________________

BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Chair

 

________________________________

KARL RHOADS, Chair