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Hawaii : Penalties considered for killing, harming any species of shark within state marine waters.

House Bill 2380, from Rep. Nicole Lowen, would create penalties as high as $10,000 for any person who knowingly captures, harms or kills sharks and rays within state waters.

The full text of the bill is provided below. It has a hearing scheduled for today, 07. February 2014 .

Hello,

I represent shark attack survivors from around the world.

We were wondering when someone was going to come up this type of law.

Often when we are fighting off a shark attached to us we do injure the shark, so with this law we will be fined for saving our life. Our rescuers may also be fined for assisting us with the fight to save our life.

Next we will be fined for feeding the shark unhealthy food, parts of our body, this could also injure the shark.

Could you please correct this to ensure those of us fighting for our life are not fined for saving our life.

Al Brenneka

Shark Attack Survivors

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2014
STATE OF HAWAII

H.B. NO. 2380

A BILL FOR AN ACT

RELATING TO SHARK AND RAY PROTECTION.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that sharks and rays are extremely important to ocean ecosystems.  As ocean predators towards the top of the food chain, sharks and rays keep the ecosystem balanced, regulate populations of other marine life, and ensure healthy fish stock and reefs.

Sharks and rays are more vulnerable to fishing pressures than most other fish species.  They are long-lived, slow-growing, start reproducing at an advanced age, and produce relatively few offspring per year.  If over-fished, these populations take a long time to recover.  If the food chain is disrupted by a decline in the shark population, it affects the entire reef system.  Protection for sharks and rays ultimately means healthier, more resilient oceans and reefs that are better able to withstand other pressures on the ocean ecosystem from climate change and pollution.

Sharks and rays on the reefs not only play important ecological roles but are also valued figures in Hawaiian culture and are important economically to ocean recreation industries and to tourism in Hawaii.  The benefits of maintaining viable populations greatly outweigh any value that would be gained by killing these species.

The purpose of this Act is to protect these species for ecological purposes, for their value to the ocean recreation industry and to native Hawaiian cultural practices, and to establish fines and penalties for knowingly harming, killing, or capturing sharks or rays within state waters.

SECTION 2.  Chapter 188, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

§188-     Sharks; prohibitions, penalties and fines.(a)  No person shall knowingly capture, harm, or kill any species of shark within state marine waters.

(b)  Any person violating this section or any rule adopted pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; provided that the fine for violating this section shall be:

(1)  $500 for a first offense;

(2)  $2,000 for a second offense; and

(3)  $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

(c)  In addition to any other penalty imposed under this section, a person violating this section shall be subject to:

(1)  An administrative fine of not more than $10,000 for each shark captured, harmed, or killed in violation of this section;

(2)  Seizure and forfeiture of any captured sharks, commercial marine license, vessel, and fishing equipment; and

(3)  Assessment of administrative fees and costs, and attorney’s fees and costs.

(d)  The criminal penalties and administrative fines and costs shall be assessed per shark captured, harmed, or killed in violation of this section.

(e)  This section shall not prohibit special activity permits allowed under section 187A-6; provided that:

(1)  The permit issued does not allow a take that exceeds the potential biological removal level; and

(2)  The department shall adopt rules to define a “take” and determine when a take exceeds the potential biological removal level.”

SECTION 3.  Section 188-39.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending its title and subsections as follows:

1.  By amending the title and subsection (a) to read:

[[]§188-39.5[]]  [Manta rays;] Rays; prohibitions, penalties and fines.  (a)  No person shall knowingly capture, harm, or kill [a manta ray] the following species of rays within state marine waters[.]:  manta ray, spotted eagle ray, broad stingray, pelagic stingray, Hawaiian stingray.”

2.  By amending subsections (c) and (d) to read:

“(c)  In addition to any other penalty imposed under this section, a person violating this section shall be subject to:

(1)  An administrative fine of not more than $10,000 for each [manta] ray captured, harmed, or killed in violation of this section;

(2)  Seizure and forfeiture of any captured [manta] rays, commercial marine license, vessel, and fishing equipment; and

(3)  Assessment of administrative fees and costs, and attorney’s fees and costs.

(d)  The criminal penalties and administrative fines and costs shall be assessed per [manta] ray captured, harmed, or killed in violation of this section.”

SECTION 4.  Section 188-70, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

“(a)  Any person violating any provision of or any rule adopted pursuant to this chapter, except sections 188-23 [and], 188-39.5, and 188-    is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and, in addition to any other penalties, shall be fined not less than:

(1)  $100 for a first offense;

(2)  $200 for a second offense; and

(3)  $500 for a third or subsequent offense.”

SECTION 5.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 6.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Report Title:

Sharks; Rays; Poaching and Commercial Fishing Prohibited

Description:

Creates administrative penalties for any person who knowingly captures, harms, or kills sharks and rays within state marine waters.