STAND. COM. REP. NO. 845
RE: S.B. No. 489
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 489, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SHARK AND RAY PROTECTION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish an offense of knowingly capturing, taking, possessing, abusing, entangling, or killing a shark in state marine waters, along with penalties and fines;
(2) Expand the existing prohibition on knowingly capturing or killing a manta ray in state marine waters to apply to all rays and also include knowingly taking, possessing, abusing, or entangling a ray; and
(3) Provide certain exemptions.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of Land and Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, One Ocean Conservation, Keiko Conservation, One Ocean Diving, O‘ahu County Commission on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Divers for Sharks, Humane Society of the United States, Titi Conservation Alliance, and twenty-four individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Center for Hawaiian Sovereignty Studies; Hunting, Farming and Fishing Association; Hawai‘i Fishermen's Alliance for Conservation and Tradition, Inc.; and three individuals.
Your Committee finds that sharks and rays are extremely important to ocean ecosystems because they keep the ecosystem balanced, regulate populations of other marine life, and ensure healthy fish stock and reefs. Your Committee further finds that article XI, section 1, of the Hawaii State Constitution provides that the State "shall conserve and protect Hawaii's natural beauty and all natural resources". This measure will provide protection for sharks and rays by establishing and expanding prohibitions against knowingly capturing or killing them.
Your Committee has amended this measure by 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 Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 489, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 489, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair