Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2021


RE:   H.B. No. 98

      H.D. 1





Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Water & Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 98 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to strengthen the penalties for violations of the State's aquatic resources law.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, For the Fishes, Hawaii Island Group Sierra Club, Moana Ohana, Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition, and four individuals.  Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Ocean Tourism Coalition, Trilogy Excursions, PacWhale EcoAdventures, Alii Nui Charters, Calypso Charters, Malolo Charters, and two individuals.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.


     Your Committee finds that Hawaii's aquatic resources are finite and deserving of greater protection and that these additional statutes and increased penalties proposed in this measure are long overdue.


     Noting the Department of Land and Natural Resources' concerns about elevating violations of chapter 187A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to a misdemeanor, your Committee urges the Department to further analyze and articulate these concerns should your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs choose to hear this measure.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Clarifying that the seizure and forfeiture of property and the imposition of a criminal fine are penalties for intentional violations of the aquatic resources law;


     (2)  Adding other assets to the types of property that can be seized and forfeited for intentional violations of the aquatic resources law;


     (3)  Changing its effective date to January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and


     (4)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water & Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 98, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 98, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water & Land,