THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO COMMERCIAL SHARK TOURS.
ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that commercial shark boat tours, that began in Hawaii nearly twenty years ago, are increasingly popular with visitors and residents. Certain tours allow customers to enter the water and view sharks from shark cages, while other cageless tours allow customers into the water to observe and swim near sharks.
The legislature further finds that commercial shark boat tours are presently unregulated and, as a result, safety measures vary greatly between operators. Sharks have the potential to cause great harm and death to humans. Noting the inherent risks associated with swimming with sharks and the proliferation of shark tour operations, caged and uncaged, the legislature finds that shark boat tours should be regulated.
SECTION 2. Chapter 188, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§188- Commercial shark tour operators. (a) No commercial shark tour operator shall engage
in the business of providing guided shark tours without first receiving a permit
from the department of land and natural resources. The department of land and natural resources shall
adopt rules to regulate commercial shark tour operations by permit that shall include
but not be limited to:
(1) A maximum number
of commercial shark tour permits available on an annual basis;
(2) Designation of permitted
(3) Training for tour
guides that shall include advanced first aid and aquatic rescue;
(4) Education for tour guides on shark biology and ecology administered
by the University of Hawaii's Hawaii institute of marine biology or an equivalent
program as determined by the department of land and natural resources;
(5) Requirements that
at least one employee of the tour operator shall remain on the vessel at all times;
(7) Revocation of a
permit based on the failure to comply with permit conditions; and
(8) Annual renewal of
(b) For purposes of this section, "commercial shark tour operator" means any
firm, corporation, association, partnership, or any group of persons, whether
incorporated or not, that provides shark tour excursions
for compensation or other consideration."
SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2022.
Commercial Shark Tour Operations; Regulations; Code of Conduct
Prohibits commercial shark tour operations from operating without a permit. Requires the department of land and natural resources to adopt rules to regulate commercial shark tours. Effective 1/1/2022. (SD1)
The summary description
of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is
not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.