STAND. COM. REP. NO. 929-20
RE: H.B. No. 1847
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 1847, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to require the Department of Land and Natural Resources to adopt rules to protect herbivorous fish in all fresh, brackish, or salt waters of the State, as these fish are necessary for the health of coral reefs throughout the State.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Wastewater Alternatives and Innovations, Surfrider Foundation Hawaii, Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition, The Uhu Conservancy, For the Fishes, and fifteen individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Your Committee finds that after a coral bleaching event, macroalgae can overtake a reef and prevent the return of the symbiotic algae that coral depend on for reef recovery. The absence of a sufficient amount of herbivorous fish to graze on the macroalgae to prevent overgrowth, and high nutrient levels in polluted waters, make these algal blooms more likely to occur. Ensuring that there are healthy populations of herbivorous fish in all of Hawaii's waters is essential to protect coral reefs from extinction.
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 H.B. No. 1847, H.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
CHRIS LEE, Chair