HONLULU – Nine bills passed by the Hawai‘i State Legislature this year were signed into law this afternoon by Gov. David Ige. “On this World Oceans Day, Hawai‘i again shows great leadership in grappling with the threats and challenges our precious marine environments face. I deeply appreciate the legislature’s support of these measures which collectively advance protection, management, and stewardship of ocean resources well into the future,” Gov. Ige said.
DLNR Chair Suzanne Case, on hand for today’s bill signing, commented, “I want to add our thanks to leadership in both the house and the senate who were instrumental in passage of seven of the administrative bills proposed by the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources. This was certainly one of the most ocean conservation-oriented legislative sessions in decades, and these measures will bring us that much closer to realizing the goals of Governor Ige’s Honomua: Marine 30X30 Initiative.” That initiative calls for the protection of at least 30% of the most sensitive nearshore waters by 2030.
The bills signed into law are as follows:
HB1016 (Commercial Marine Vessel Licenses, CMVL) – allows DLNR to issue a single CMVL for all persons aboard a vessel. [Rules and fees to be established by administrative rules].
HB1017 (Crustaceans) – Repealed statute prohibiting the taking or killing of female spiny lobsters, Kona and Samoan crabs. DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources has administrative rules that mirrored the statute and can modify regulations as necessary through the rulemaking process. [No change to regulations yet, but rulemaking planned for take of female Kona crabs].
HB1018 (Lay net permits) – Authorizes DLNR to establish rules for lay net permits for use or possession. Requires annual permit renewal and the ability to withhold or revoke permits for violators.
HB1019 (Ocean Stewardship Special Fund) – see separate release issued previously.
HB1020 (Adaptive management) – Authorizes the Board of Land and Natural Resources to implement effective and adaptive management measures in response to rapidly changing conditions, such as size and bag limits, closed seasons and gear restrictions when needed in extraordinary situations. [Becomes effective Oct. 1, 2021].
HB1022 (Natural resource inspections) – Authorizes DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources officers to inspect coolers or other containers which could carry regulated aquatic life. (see resources below)
HB1023 (Nonresident recreational marine fishing license) – see separate release issued previously.
SB772 (Special license plates) – Authorizes the issuance of special license plates relating to forest and ocean conservation. Revenues will be deposited into special funds for forest stewardship and beach restoration.
HB 553 (Shark protection) – Prohibits the taking of sharks in State waters and authorizes DLNR to implement the measure. Exemptions include scientific research, public safety, and self-defense. (Becomes effective, Jan. 1, 2022).