STAND. COM. REP. NO. 617
RE: H.B. No. 1457
Honorable Joseph M. Souki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2017
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 1457 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AQUATIC LIFE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to require the Division of Aquatic Resources of the Department of Land and Natural Resources to develop a comprehensive plan for the sustainable management of nearshore reef wildlife, including requirements for sustainable fishing and marine life collection practices and limits on total rates of taking and collection.
The Conservation Council for Hawaii, Coral Triangle Conservancy, Inc., West Hawaii Humane Society, Birth Sovereignty, Snorkel Bob's, Hoomana Pono, LLC., For the Fishes, Scuba Sports Club of Westchester New York, Endangered Habitats League, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Kihei Community Association, and numerous individuals testified in support of this measure. The Big Island Association of Fishers, Coral Fish Hawaii, and several individuals testified in opposition to this measure. The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Democratic Party of Hawaii, Ocean Defenders Alliance, Citizen Advocates for Animals, and numerous individuals commented on this measure.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting its purpose section;
(2) Placing a moratorium on the issuance of all aquarium fish permits for fishing or collecting common aquarium trade species until the Department of Land and Natural Resources has developed a comprehensive plan for the sustainable management of nearshore reef wildlife;
(3) Clarifying that existing aquarium fish permits shall not be transferable to new individuals;
(4) Deleting the provision allowing a program or policy to impose limitations or conditions on special activity permit holders for the taking of fish or other marine life in designated areas; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for clarity, consistency, and style.
Your Committee notes that the data about the populations of common aquarium trade species is incomplete because it does not represent all areas of Hawaii's reefs. Your Committee also recognizes that the industries relating to fishing and marine collection are valuable to the State and provide many jobs. Accordingly, your Committee aims to encourage and protect these industries by ensuring that the language of this measure is not inflammatory and unfair to people who legitimately fish and collect marine wildlife.
Your Committee also finds that further discussion is necessary to determine bag limits, gear limits, size restrictions, and other rules to implement the Department of Land and Natural Resources' plan, and recommends that the Department identify the areas and types of wildlife species that are most threatened by the current fishing and marine collection practices.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1457, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1457, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs,
KANIELA ING, Chair