STAND. COM. REP. NO. 334
RE: S.B. No. 1313
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 1313 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SPORT FISH,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the:
(1) Department of Agriculture to allow for the permitted importation of northern largemouth bass and butterfly peacock bass into Hawaii; and
(2) Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Aquatic Resources to establish a pilot project to restock the Wahiawa public fishing area with northern largemouth bass, butterfly peacock bass, or both.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from Animal Rights Hawai‘i, Hawaii Freshwater Fishing Association, Wahiawa Community Based Development Organization, and seventeen individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from three individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Your Committees find that the northern largemouth bass has existed in the State's artificial reservoirs since 1896, and butterfly peacock bass have existed since 1957. Your Committees find that attempts to import largemouth bass into the State to improve the fishing stock have faced regulator restrictions. Thus, this measure seeks to streamline the process to import live northern largemouth bass and butterfly peacock bass to enhance and support the pre-existing populations for continued recreational fishing.
Your Committees have heard the testimony of the Department of Land and Natural Resources expressing concerns that it is not able to undertake the establishment of the pilot project to restock the Wahiawa public fishing area because it does not have the fiscal resources to undertake this project. The Department provided that the biologist position that manages the Wahiawa reservoir activities has been frozen due to budget restrictions, causing a lack of capacity to expand operations at the reservoir. Your Committees find that this issue raises concerns that merit further consideration and request that your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means further examine those issues and concerns raised by the Department of Land and Natural Resources on this measure.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that the Department of Agriculture shall only issue permits to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the importation of the northern largemouth bass and butterfly peacock bass into Hawaii; and
(2) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1313, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1313, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land,
LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair
MIKE GABBARD, Chair