HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2016
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO MARINE SPECIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii's coral reefs are home to a wide variety of marine species, many of which are endemic to Hawaii. The marine species of Hawaii play an important role for the State's inhabitants, providing residents and visitors physical, cultural, environmental, and spiritual sustenance. This need for local marine species can go so far as to remove them from their natural habitats to be used for such purposes as being processed for food or sold as pets. As interest in the marine species of Hawaii increases, the number of species being removed from their native coral reefs increases as well. If the take levels increase, the marine species found in the coral reefs of Hawaii will become more vulnerable to extinction, which could potentially harm the local environment and people of Hawaii.
The purpose of this Act is to convene a task force to identify the ten most vital marine species to Hawaii's reef ecosystems that would be vulnerable to extinction if the take level of those species increases and to assist the department of land and natural resources in determining possible actions to preserve those species.
SECTION 2. (a) There is established within the department of land and natural resources for administrative purposes a marine species task force to research and determine the ten most vital marine species within Hawaii's reef ecosystems that would be vulnerable to extinction if the take level of those species increases and to make recommendations on what actions may be taken to ensure the sustainability of those species.
(b) The chairperson of the board of land and natural resources shall serve as the chairperson of the task force. The task force shall include as participating members:
(1) The administrator of the division of aquatic resources, or the administrator's designee;
(2) The administrator of the office of Hawaiian affairs, or the administrator's designee;
(3) A representative from the school of ocean and earth sciences and technology of the University of Hawaii;
(4) A representative from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation;
(5) A representative of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Islands Regional Office; and
(6) Any other agency representative or designee deemed appropriate by the chairperson of the board of land and natural resources.
(c) In performing its duties pursuant to this section, the task force shall:
(1) Consult with persons and groups who have expertise in marine wildlife found in reef ecosystems;
(2) Examine empirical and scientific data compiled by credible academic and scientific sources; and
(3) Assist in launching initiatives that will provide additional data to be used for the purposes of this Act.
(d) Members of the task force shall serve without compensation, and all necessary expenses, including travel expenses, shall be paid by the agency, organization, or department to which the member belongs. No member shall be made subject to chapter 84, Hawaii Revised Statutes, solely because of that member's participation as a member of the task force.
(e) The task force shall submit an initial report on its findings to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2017; and a final report and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2018.
(f) The task force shall cease to exist on June 30, 2018. SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2016.
Marine Species; Task Force
Establishes a Marine Species Task Force to identify ten vital marine species vulnerable to extinction if take levels of those species increases and recommend actions to ensure the sustainability of those species. (SD1)
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