STAND. COM. REP. NO.  1590


Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2023


RE:   S.B. No. 818

      S.D. 1

      H.D. 2





Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Water & Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 818, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to transfer the Aquaculture Program from the Department of Agriculture to the Agribusiness Development Corporation.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Agribusiness Development Corporation.  Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association, Aquaculture Planning & Advocacy LLC, Blue Ocean Mariculture, and three individuals.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture.


     Your Committee received testimony from the aquaculture industry expressing strong concerns about the potential impacts of moving the entire Aquaculture Program from the Department of Agriculture to the Agribusiness Development Corporation.  The transfer of the Aquaculture Disease Diagnostic Lab and Aquaculture Veterinarian and lab staff out of the Department of Agriculture may result in the loss of synergy that currently exists within the Department.


     Your Committee further finds that Hawaii's rapidly growing aquaculture industry is valued at over $78,000,000 annually, which places it among the top ten states in the nation.  In order to continue the discussion on how to best support and promote this industry, your Committee finds that the Department of Agriculture should continue to regulate and provide assistance to aquaculture operations, but additional resources and authority should also be given to the Agribusiness Development Corporation to further promote and expand aquaculture in the State.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Transferring only the business, processing, distribution, and marketing functions of the Aquaculture Program from the Department of Agriculture to the Agribusiness Development Corporation;


     (2)  Deleting the appropriations for the establishment of the:


          (A)  Wilikina Hatchery and Education Center; and


          (B)  Mokuleia Aquaculture Innovation Center;


     (3)  Making an appropriation for the aquaculture program under the Agribusiness Development Corporation and development of an aquaculture park; and


     (4)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the 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 S.B. No. 818, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 818, S.D. 1, H.D. 2.



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