S.B. NO.














relating to fishing.





SECTION 1. The legislature 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. Most fish sleep at night and are easy prey to scuba spearfishers. Many night scuba spearfishers target larger fish, which subsequently reduces the mean size of species left to be fished. This is a concern because the larger fish lay more eggs, and the offspring of larger female fish are healthier and have a better chance of survival than the offspring of younger, smaller fish. Selective size-based fishing is concerning to fishery managers because as mean fish size decreases, reproductive output declines exponentially.

The purpose of this Act is to protect the State's environment, aquatic species, and fishing stocks by prohibiting scuba spearfishing at night.

SECTION 2. Section 188-23, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"188-23 Possession or use of [explosives, electrofishing devices, and poisonous substances] certain methods of taking aquatic life in state waters prohibited; exception. (a) It is unlawful to possess or use on, in, or near state waters, any explosives, electrofishing devices, or any source of electrical energy with appurtenant devices for the introduction of electricity into the water, or to conduct scuba spearfishing at night, for the purpose of taking aquatic life, except under the terms and conditions of a permit first obtained by the user from the department. The department may issue permits for the possession or use of electrofishing devices consistent with other legal requirements.

(b) It is unlawful to deposit in, permit to pass into, or place where it can pass into the state waters for the purpose of taking aquatic life any of the following:

(1) Any petroleum, coal or oil tar, lampblack, aniline, asphalt, bitumen, or residuary product of petroleum or carbonaceous material or substance;

(2) Hypochlorous acid or any of its salts, including bleaches commonly sold under various trade names, such as Clorox and Purex, and bleaching powders;

(3) Preparations containing rotenone, tephrosin, saponins, or plant materials from Barringtonia acutangula, Barringtonia asiatica, Barringtonia racemosa, Barringtonia longiracemosa, Barringtonia speciosa, Careya australis, Cocculus ferrandianus, Cocculus trilobus, Cocos nucifera, Hura crepitans, Hura polyandra, Piscidia acuminata, Piscidia carthagenensis, Piscidia erythrina, Planchonia careya, Tephrosia purpurea, Tephrosia piscatoria, Wikstroemia; and

(4) Any other substance or material deleterious to aquatic life; except under the terms and conditions of a permit first obtained by the user from the department.

The department may issue permits to allow the possession or use of stated amounts of these substances poisonous to aquatic life if the department deems the amount in possession is for legitimate purposes or in quantities too small to harm aquatic life.

The possession or use of these substances without a permit by any person on, in, or near the water where aquatic life can be taken, or aboard any fishing vessel or boat is prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.

The department may revoke any permit for any infraction of the terms and conditions of the permit. Any person whose permit has been revoked shall not be eligible to apply for another permit until the expiration of one year from the date of revocation.

(c) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 necessary for the purposes of this section, including enforcement of and exemptions to this section.

Nothing in this section shall be held or construed to be an amendment of the rules of the department of transportation."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.








Report Title:

Scuba; Spearfishing; Night; Prohibition; Aquatic Life



Prohibits scuba spearfishing at night for the purpose of taking aquatic life, except through a permit.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.