THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO SPORT FISH.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the northern largemouth bass and butterfly peacock bass, also known as tucunare, are some of the most popular gamefish in the United States, with northern largemouth bass existing in the State's artificial reservoirs since 1896, and butterfly peacock bass existing since 1957. More than 828,000 jobs nationally are directly supported in some way by bass fishing and more than $48,000,000,000 in retail sales are directly attributed to bass fishing activities. Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Vermont all recognize bass fishing as a high school sport.
The legislature further finds that based upon fishing licenses issued by the department of land and natural resources to fish for northern largemouth bass and butterfly peacock bass, bass fishing in the State is far less popular than in other states. One reason for the small number of anglers fishing for bass is the lack a diverse population of these sport fish in Hawaii's artificial reservoirs. Attempts to import largemouth bass into the State to improve the fishing stock have faced intense regulatory restrictions. The current permit process to import northern largemouth bass into the State is the same as that for a species that has never been brought into Hawaii.
The purpose of this Act is to streamline the process to import live northern largemouth bass and butterfly peacock bass for the purpose of enhancing and supporting the pre-existing populations for continued recreational fishing in Hawaii.
SECTION 2. Section 150A-6.2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
"(c) Animals on the lists of conditionally
approved and restricted animals shall be imported only by permit. Any animal that is not on the lists of conditionally
approved, restricted, or prohibited animals shall be prohibited until the
board's review and determination for placement on one of these lists; provided
that the department may issue a special permit on a case-by-case basis for the
importation and possession of an animal that is not on the lists of prohibited,
restricted, or conditionally approved animals, for the purpose of remediating
medical emergencies or agricultural or ecological disasters, or conducting
medical or scientific research in a manner that the animal will not be
detrimental to agriculture, the environment, or humans, if the importer of the
animal can meet permit requirements as determined by the board; and provided
further that the department may issue a short-term special permit on a
case-by-case basis not to exceed ninety days for the importation and possession
of an animal that is not on the lists of prohibited, restricted, or
conditionally approved animals for the purpose of filming, performance, or
exhibition, if the importer of the animal can meet permit and bonding
requirements as determined by the board[
.]; provided further that northern
largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides salmoides) and butterfly peacock bass
shall be considered on the list of conditionally approved animals that require
a permit for import into the State maintained pursuant to subsection (a)(1). The department shall only issue permits to the
department of land and natural resources for the importation and possession of northern
largemouth bass and butterfly peacock bass to allow for breeding and releasing."
SECTION 3. No later than January 1, 2022, and through its own resources, the division of aquatic resources of the department of land and natural resources shall establish a pilot project to restock northern largemouth bass, butterfly peacock bass, or both in the Wahiawa public fishing area in central Oahu. The division of aquatic resources may assist another public entity or partner with a private entity to accomplish the pilot project.
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.
Department of Agriculture; Department of Land and Natural Resources; Northern Largemouth Bass; Butterfly Peacock Bass
Requires the department of agriculture to allow for the permitted importation of northern largemouth bass and butterfly peacock bass into Hawaii through issuances of permits to the department of land and natural resources. Requires the 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. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.