THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

931

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO MARINE AQUARIUM FISHING.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that kanaka maoli values such as living in harmony and balance with nature, mālama āina, kuleana for the surrounding environment, the concept of aloha āina, and other Native Hawaiian traditional and customary gathering rights and cultural practices are the foundation of the constitution of the State of Hawaii's mandates related to the conservation and management of natural resources. There is evidence to show that historically the commercial capture of Hawaii's reef wildlife for sale to the aquarium pet trade has resulted in a depletion of marine resources. To allow the commercial trade to continue in a manner that adversely impacts marine resources would be contrary to effective marine resource management and traditional Hawaiian practices.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Place a two-year moratorium on the commercial capture of aquatic life for aquarium purposes or pursuant to a commercial marine license through the use of fine-mesh nets or fine-mesh traps;

(2) Require the research corporation of the university of Hawaii to prepare an environmental impact statement to evaluate the impacts of the department of land and natural resources' issuance of commercial aquarium permits on the island of Oahu and West Hawaii;

(3) Require the research corporation of the university of Hawaii to complete a comprehensive cultural impact assessment in coordination with the office of Hawaiian affairs and Native Hawaiian cultural organizations;

(4) Require the department of land and natural resources to establish a marine aquarium fishing advisory group;

(5) Prohibit any person from possessing a fine-mesh net or fine-mesh trap on their person or within a vessel within state marine waters or on or about the shore where fish can be taken and impose a $5,000 fine for a violation; and

(6) Appropriate funds for the purposes of this Act.

This Act is intended to allow the following practices to continue:

(1) Issuance of special activity permits pursuant to section 187A-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes;

(2) Issuance of recreational permits for non-commercial capture of aquatic life for aquarium purposes, in accordance with existing laws and rulings regarding compliance with environmental assessments; and

(3) Captive-breeding and aquaculture efforts, as regulated by section 187A-3.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

Nothing in this Act should be construed to prohibit any person from exercising native Hawaiian rights, customarily and traditionally exercised for subsistence, cultural, and religious purposes pursuant to article XII, section 7, of the Hawaii State Constitution, the lawful taking of fish for consumption or bait, or lawful management or taking of aquatic life from fishponds.

SECTION 2. Chapter 189, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"189-   Harvesting aquatic life for commercial aquarium purposes; prohibition; exemptions; definitions. (a) No person shall harvest aquatic life for commercial aquarium purposes using a fine-mesh net or fine-mesh trap in any state marine waters. No person operating under a commercial marine license pursuant to section 189-2, shall harvest aquatic life for commercial aquarium purposes using a fine-mesh net or fine-mesh trap in any state marine waters.

(b) This section shall not apply to the harvest or collection of aquatic life for purposes of:

(1) Activities pursuant to the issuance of a license or permit for activities permitted in sections 187A-3.5 and 187A-6 and chapter 188; provided that the requirements of those sections are met;

(2) Scientific or research activities;

(3) Educational activities or activities conducted as part of a school activity or assignment;

(4) Activities permitted under federal law;

(5) Activities associated with the exercise of native Hawaiian rights, customarily and traditionally exercised for subsistence, cultural, and religious purposes pursuant to article XII, section 7, of the Hawaii State Constitution; and

(6) Activities otherwise expressly and lawfully permitted by state law or county ordinance.

(c) For the purposes of this section:

"Aquarium purposes" means to hold salt water fish, freshwater nongame fish, or other aquatic life alive in a state of captivity as pets, for public exhibition or display, or for sale for these purposes.

"Aquatic life" means any type or species of mammal, fish, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod, invertebrate, coral, or other animal that inhabits the freshwater or marine environment and includes any part, product, egg, or offspring thereof; or marine plants, including seeds, roots, products, and other parts thereof.

"Commercial" means to take aquatic life for profit or gain or where the aquatic life is sold, offered for sale, possessed with intent to sell, bartered, landed, or transported for sale.

"Fine-mesh" means the rhombic (diamond-shaped) opening enclosed by four bars of twines or equal length at the four corners where the opening is less than three centimeters measured between corners when the mesh is stretched.

"Harvest" means to take and retain aquatic life."

SECTION 3. Section 187A-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"187A-13 General penalty; community service. (a) Any person violating this chapter or any rule adopted thereunder for which a penalty is not otherwise provided, shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor and, in addition to any other penalties, shall be fined not less than:

(1) $250 for a first offense;

(2) $500 for a second offense; and

(3) $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

(b) The court may require the defendant to complete an aquatic resources educational class administered by the department in addition to or in lieu of paying all or any part of any monetary fine authorized by this section.

(c) The court may direct the defendant to perform community service as administered by the department in lieu of paying any monetary fine authorized by this section.

(d) No person shall possess a fine-mesh net or fine-mesh trap on their person or within a vessel within state marine waters or on or about the shore where fish can be taken. Any person who violates this subsection shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture of any fine-mesh net or fine-mesh trap and shall be fined $5,000.

For purposes of this subsection:

"Fine-mesh" means the rhombic (diamond-shaped) opening enclosed by four bars of twines or equal length at the four corners where the opening is less than three centimeters measured between corners when the mesh is stretched.

"Vessel" means every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water."

SECTION 4. Section 188-31.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]188-31.5[]] Aquarium fish for export; monthly count. [The department of land and natural resources shall adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 to monitor the aquarium fish catch report and fish dealer's report for export of aquarium fish taken from the waters of the State for aquarium purposes pursuant to section 188-31. A monthly count of the quantities taken of each individual species of aquarium fish exported shall be reported to the board.] Repealed."

SECTION 5. Section 189-11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"189-11 Receipts in duplicate. Every commercial marine dealer shall issue receipts to the person from whom marine life is obtained and shall provide the following information in the receipt:

(1) The date of the issuance;

(2) The name of the person to whom the receipt is issued;

(3) The following information with respect to each of the varieties of marine life as the department shall require including:

(A) The weight in pounds of each of the varieties received;

(B) The numbers of marine life when they average a pound or more; and

(C) The price per pound paid; and

[(D) With regard to aquarium fish, regardless of weight, the number and species of the fishes; and]

(4) The signature of the dealer who issues the receipt.

Any dealer taking the dealer's own marine life or handling any marine life taken by commercial marine licensees working for or with the dealer, shall make out the same receipt, giving market price for the marine life as prevails on the date of receipt. A duplicate copy of this receipt shall be kept on file at the premise where the marine life was sold by the dealer issuing the same for a period of twelve months from the date of issuance, and the duplicate copy shall be available for inspection upon the demand of any conservation officer authorized to enforce the laws of the State."

SECTION 6. (a) The research corporation of the university of Hawaii shall prepare an environmental impact statement that meets the requirements of chapter 343, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to evaluate the impacts of the department of land and natural resources' issuance of commercial aquarium permits on the island of Oahu and West Hawaii. The research corporation of the university of Hawaii may prepare the environmental impact statement internally or hire a consultant to prepare the environmental impact statement insofar as the consultant can demonstrate neutrality on the issue.

(b) As part of the environmental impact statement, the research corporation of the university of Hawaii shall complete a cultural impact assessment in coordination with the office of Hawaiian affairs and Native Hawaiian organizations, including but not limited to the Aha Moku advisory committee and Hunting, Farming, and Fishing Association.

(c) The research corporation of the university of Hawaii shall submit a report on its progress regarding the environmental impact statement and cultural impact assessment to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2020.

(d) The governor shall serve as the accepting authority for the environmental impact statement. The environmental impact statement shall be completed and accepted no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2021.

SECTION 7. (a) The department of land and natural resources shall establish a marine aquarium fishing advisory group, exempt from section 26-34, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to monitor activities addressed by this Act and provide guidance to the research corporation of the university of Hawaii and office of Hawaiian affairs toward completion of the environmental impact statement and cultural impact assessment. The advisory group members shall consist of the following:

(1) The administrator of the division of aquatic resources;

(2) One representative of the commercial aquarium industry, to be selected by the chairperson of the board of land and natural resources;

(3) One representative of a conservation organization, to be selected by the chairperson of the board of land and natural resources;

(4) One member with knowledge, experience, and expertise in the area of Hawaiian cultural practices, to be selected by the chairperson of the board of land and natural resources; and

(5) One representative of a fishing or fishermen's association.

(b) The marine aquarium fishing advisory group shall elect a chairperson from among its members. Any action of the advisory group shall be by a simple majority of its members. Three members shall constitute a quorum.

(c) The marine aquarium fishing advisory group shall be administered by the division of aquatic resources. The advisory group shall advise the department of land and natural resources on issues related to marine aquarium fishing and the activities under this Act. The marine aquarium fishing advisory group shall:

(1) Advise the research corporation of the university of Hawaii and department of land and natural resources on any environmental reviews related to commercial aquarium fishing;

(2) Identify an appropriate scope of work for the environmental impact statement required pursuant to section 6 of this Act;

(3) Identify appropriate cultural groups and practitioners to be consulted on the cultural impact assessment required pursuant to section 6 of this Act;

(4) Work with the research corporation of the university of Hawaii and department of land and natural resources to ensure proper notice and community engagement on the environmental impact statement, such that stakeholders and community members have ample opportunity to engage in the review process;

(5) Make recommendations to the research corporation of the university of Hawaii and department of land and natural resources regarding local outlets or publications where notice of the environmental impact statement should be distributed;

(6) Make recommendations to the research corporation of the university of Hawaii and department of land and natural resources regarding public meetings on the environmental impact statement; and

(7) Assess the impact of the moratorium implemented under this Act.

The marine aquarium fishing advisory group shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2021.

(d) Members of the marine aquarium fishing advisory group shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for expenses, including travel expenses, necessary for the performance of their duties. No member shall be made subject to chapter 84, Hawaii Revised Statutes, solely because of that member's participation as a member of the advisory group.

SECTION 8. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $500,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 for the purposes of this Act.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the university of Hawaii and single-sourced to the research corporation of the university of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 9. If there is any conflict with section 188-31, Hawaii Revised Statutes, this Act shall supersede.

SECTION 10. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 11. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

SECTION 12. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 13. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019, and shall be repealed on June 30, 2021; provided that sections 187A‑13, 188-31.5, and 189-11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be reenacted in the form in which they read on the day before the effective date of this Act.



 

 

Report Title:

Marine Aquarium Fishing; Fine-Mesh Prohibition; Commercial Aquarium Fishing Moratorium; Environmental Impact Statement; Cultural Impact Assessment; Marine Aquarium Fishing Advisory Group; Appropriation

 

Description:

Prohibits any person from possessing a fine-mesh net or fine-mesh trap on their person or within a vessel within state marine waters or on or about the shore where fish can be taken and imposes a $5,000 fine for violations. Places a two-year moratorium on the commercial capture of aquatic life for aquarium purposes or under a commercial marine license through use of fine-mesh nets or fine-mesh traps. Requires the research corporation of the university of Hawaii (RCUH) to evaluate the impacts of the department of land and natural resources' issuance of commercial aquarium permits on the island of Oahu and West Hawaii. Requires a cultural impact assessment in coordination with the office of Hawaiian affairs and Native Hawaiian cultural organizations. Requires the RCUH to submit a progress report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the regular session of 2020. Requires the governor to accept the EIS no later than twenty days prior to the regular session of 2021. Requires the department of land and natural resources to establish a marine aquarium fishing advisory group. Makes an appropriation. Repeals 6/30/2021. (SD1)

 

 

 

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