STAND. COM. REP. NO. 394
RE: S.B. No. 1136
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 1136 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO FISHING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to prohibit scuba spearfishing at night, except through a permit.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawai‘i Reef and Ocean Coalition, Animal Rights Hawai‘i, Friends of Hanauma Bay, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Center for Biological Diversity, and ten individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from Coral Fish Hawaii and three individuals.
Your Committee finds that night scuba spearfishing could potentially deplete the ocean of aquatic life, which is necessary for the preservation of Hawaii's ocean environment and coral reefs. Many reef fish species, particularly herbivores such as parrotfish and surgeonfish, sleep in crevices in the reef at night. While enough of these fish can effectively evade spearfishers during the day, they are easy targets at night and are therefore susceptible to over-harvest, particularly with the use of scuba. This measure seeks to protect the State's environment, aquatic species, and fishing stocks for present and future generations.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Statutorily placing the prohibition on nighttime scuba spearfishing, except through a permit, in a new section in chapter 188, Hawaii Revised Statutes, rather than in section 188-23, Hawaii Revised Statutes;
(2) Authorizing the Department of Land and Natural Resources to issue and revoke permits for nighttime scuba spearfishing;
(3) Inserting an effective date of December 31, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water and Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1136, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1136, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water and Land,
KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair