Legislature considers new fish task force

Several measures that critics say are thinly veiled attempts to undo West Hawaii’s scuba spearfishing ban are advancing through the state Legislature.

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Several measures that critics say are thinly veiled attempts to undo West Hawaii’s scuba spearfishing ban are advancing through the state Legislature.

House Concurrent Resolution 65 passed out of the Ocean Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs Committee on a unanimous affirmative vote. Rep. Faye Hanohano, D-Puna, chairs the committee and cosponsored the bill, which calls for a statewide, appointed task force to consider fishery rules. In addition to Hanohano, two other Big Island representatives, Nicole Lowen, D-Kona, and Cindy Evans, D-Kona, Kohala, are members of the committee.

House Bill 709, which originally applied only to Niihau, now also calls for a statewide fishing rules task force. The measures allow the governor, speaker of the House, the Senate president and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to appoint task force members.

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Testimony on both measures came in from across the state.

Full coverage in the Thursday, Feb. 13, edition of West Hawaii Today or visit westhawaiitoday.com.