Saturday, July 20, 2024

Hawaii Governor Signs Shark Take Prohibition Bill


Hawaii Governor David Ige last week signed legislation that would prohibit the taking of sharks in state waters.

Exemptions include “scientific research, public safety, and self-defense.”

The bill — which becomes effective January 1st, 2022 and was approved earlier this year by the Hawaii State Legislature — was one of nine the governor signed on World Oceans Day. According to 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.”

The other bills signed into law include:

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HB1017 (Crustaceans) – Repealed statute prohibiting the taking or killing of female spiny lobsters, Kona and Samoan crabs.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) – Provides more consistent and reliable support for the conservation, protection, restoration, and management of Hawai‘i’s precious and endangered marine resources.

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.


John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.