THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

167

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

requesting the department of land and natural resources to conduct a study on the marine life conservation district designations.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, the coastal waters of the islands comprising the State feature a number of different habitats, each with its own characteristic marine life; and

 

WHEREAS, nearshore fishes have played an important role in the lifestyle for residents, either commercially as a food source or recreationally through snorkeling and diving; and

 

WHEREAS, because reef and inshore fishing had greatly deteriorated in the State as a result of excessive taking of fish in coastal waters, Act 192, Session Laws of Hawaii 1955, was enacted to allow for the designation of marine life conservation districts; and

 

WHEREAS, marine life conservation districts are designed to conserve and replenish marine resources by limiting fishing and other consumptive uses or prohibiting such uses entirely; and

 

WHEREAS, under existing law, marine life conservation districts are established by the Department of Land and Natural Resources; and

 

WHEREAS, there are ten existing marine life conservation districts in the State as follows: Hanauma Bay, Oahu; Pūpūkea, Oahu; Waikīkī, Oahu; Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii; Lapakahi, Hawaii; Old Kona Airport, Hawaii; Waialea Bay, Hawaii; Honolua - Mokulēia, Maui; Molokini Shoal, Maui; and Mānele - Hulopoe, Lānai; and

 

WHEREAS, the protections for the marine life conservation districts vary from district to district, and further assessment should be given to determine whether further protections should be conferred; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2023, that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is requested to conduct a study on the marine life conservation districts designations; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the study is requested to:

 

(1) Assess whether the Marine Life Conservation District Program is achieving its objectives; and

 

(2) Investigate the effectiveness of the criteria for designating marine life conservation districts compared to the International Union for Conservation of Nature protected area categories, especially for:

 

(A) Areas within an existing marine life conservation district that may require additional protection; and

 

(B) Areas not within an existing marine life conservation district that should be given the protections of such designation, including areas adjacent to existing marine life conservation districts that may be included by expansion; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2024; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources and Administrator of the Division of Aquatic Resources of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

DLNR; Marine Life Conservation Districts; Study