Shark Finning Prohibited

Strictly limits the possession, purchase, sale, or trade of
shark fins. Exempts vessels that do not off-load cargo in the
State or its territorial waters.  (SD1)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 2        
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                S.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                     A BILL FOR AN ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the vast ocean area
 2 surrounding the State has historically contained bountiful
 3 natural resources and productive fisheries that have had great
 4 commercial, recreational, social, cultural, and sustenance values
 5 to Hawaii's people.  Many of these fisheries are now in decline
 6 and in critical need of effective conservation and management
 7 measures to prevent further decline and to create a pattern of
 8 sustainable use for future generations.  One of the fisheries
 9 that has shown the most urgent need for conservation and
10 management is the shark fishery.
11      Sharks are one of the top predators in the marine food chain
12 and play an important role in our ocean's ecosystem.  Sharks have
13 characteristics that make them more vulnerable to overfishing
14 than most fish, and data from state, federal, and international
15 agencies show a decline in the shark populations both locally and
16 worldwide.  Unlike other fish species, most sharks do not reach
17 sexual maturity until seven to twelve years of age and then only
18 give birth to a small litter of young.  Thus, sharks cannot
19 rebuild their populations quickly once they are overfished.
20      About one hundred thousand sharks (two thousand metric tons)

Page 2                                                     1947
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
                                                        S.D. 1

 1 are taken each year by Hawaii-based longliners.  Data from log
 2 books and observers indicate that eighty-six per cent of the
 3 shark are alive when brought to the boat but are killed just for
 4 their fins; approximately sixty per cent are then finned.  That
 5 means once caught, the fins are removed, and the carcasses are
 6 discarded.  These fins are landed in Hawaii as unreported,
 7 untaxed catch.  An additional one hundred fifty metric tons of
 8 shark fins are taken elsewhere in the Pacific, and are then
 9 transhipped unreported and untaxed into and through the State.
10      The legislature finds shark finning to be a wasteful and
11 inhumane practice, and the landing of unreported shark fins
12 contributes little if anything to the economy of this State.  The
13 purpose of this Act is to prevent the practice of shark finning
14 by requiring that sharks be landed whole.
15      SECTION 2.  Chapter 188, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
16 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
17 read as follows:
18      "188-     Sharks; prohibitions; administrative penalties.
19 (a)  No person shall knowingly harvest for sale, possess for
20 sale, buy, sell, or trade shark fins unless the fins were taken
21 from a shark landed whole in the State.  As used in this
22 subsection:
23      "Landed" means when the animal is first brought to shore.

Page 3                                                     1947
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
                                                        S.D. 1

 1      "Shark fin" means the raw or dried fin of a shark with the
 2 shark carcass removed.
 3      "Whole" means the entire shark with its head and flesh
 4 intact, allowing for the removal of the blood, internal organs,
 5 and tail at sea.
 6      (b)  Any person violating this section or any rule adopted
 7 thereunder shall be subject to:
 8      (1)  Seizure and forfeiture of shark fins, commercial marine
 9           license, vessel, and fishing equipment; and
10      (2)  An administrative fine of not less than $5,000 and not
11           more than $15,000.  In addition, the violator may be
12           assessed administrative fees and costs, and attorney's
13           fees and costs.
14      (c)  Any criminal prosecution or penalty imposed for
15 violation of this section or any rule adopted thereunder shall
16 not preclude seizure and forfeiture pursuant to chapter 712A, or
17 the imposition of any administrative fines and costs or
18 attorney's fees and costs under this section."
19      SECTION 3.  Section 187A-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
20 amended by adding two new definitions to be appropriately
21 inserted and to read as follows:
22      ""Harvest" means the taking and retaining of marine life by
23 any means whatsoever.

Page 4                                                     1947
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
                                                        S.D. 1

 1      "Shark" means any member of the class Chondrichthyes,
 2 including but not limited to:  inshore species of galapagos shark
 3 (Carcharhinus galapagensis), reef blacktip shark (Carcharhinus
 4 melanopterus), gray reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos),
 5 big-nosed shark (Carcharhinus altimus), tiger shark (Galeocerdo
 6 cuvier), blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus), smooth
 7 hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena), reef whitetip shark
 8 (Triaenodon obesus), scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini),
 9 sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), offshore species of white
10 shark (Carcharodon carcharias), shortfin mako shark (Isurus
11 oxyrinchus), silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis), blue shark
12 (Prionace glauca), whale shark (Rhincodon typus), thresher shark
13 (Alopias vulpinus), oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus
14 longimanus), cookie cutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis), and
15 megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios)."
16      SECTION 4.  This Act shall not apply to vessels that do not
17 off load cargo in the State of Hawaii or its territorial waters.
18      SECTION 5.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that
19 matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were
20 begun before its effective date.
21      SECTION 6.  New statutory material is underscored.
22      SECTION 7.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.