Hawaiian HB366 manta ray bill passes House, moves to Senate

Press Release

Manta Pacific Research Foundation

HB366 Scheduled to be heard by the Senate WTL Committee

Honolulu, HAWAII - March 13, 2009 - House Bill 366 has made it all the way through the House process and has crossed over into the Senate. It is now scheduled to be heard by the Senate Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture, and Hawaiian Affairs (WTL) on March 18, 2009 at 3:00pm HST. Your testimony to the WTL Committee in support of this Bill is needed again for HB366’s continued success.

House JUD Committee passes HB366
On February 24, 2009, the House Judiciary Committee voted to pass HB366 with amendments. A line was added to the Bill to “not prohibit special activity permits allowed under section 187A-6”. This provision will allow parties to get a special permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to collect manta rays for scientific, education, management, or propagation purposes. You can read section 187A-6 here. Giving the DLNR the ability to approve permits for manta ray capture will give transparency to the process of collection by all interested parties, including aquariums. We hope that they will do so in a responsible manner and will in fact help further the research on manta rays, including the population studies that are needed before any collection takes place.

House sends HB366 over to the Senate
On March 10th, the House passed the third reading of the Bill and voted to transmit HB366 over to the Senate. Then 2 days later, the Senate passed the first reading of the Bill and referred it to the Senate WTL and JGO Committee’s. It’s very exciting to see so much support for the rays and we will continue to watch it on it’s journey through the legislative process. There’s no doubt it would not have gone this far without your collective voices.

HB366 scheduled to be heard by WTL Committee
And now, this is where you come in. The WTL Committee in the Senate will hear the bill on March 18, 2009 at 3:00pm. This is where we need to submit more testimony, again at least 24 hours in advance. The website is available to submit it directly, or you may send it to testimony@mantapacific.org and we will submit it on your behalf, now and for any future hearings. If you have already sent it to us, Thanks!

HB366 is leading the way for manta protection in Hawaii! Please help and thank you for your support protecting this great Hawaiian treasure.

What can you do?
Send testimony in support of the Bill to the Senate WTL Committee and tell them why you support HB366 for manta ray protection in Hawaii. If you have already sent your testimony to MPRF, we will again submit it on your behalf.

You can submit via paper, fax, or the web. To submit via:
PAPER: send copies (including original) to Room 438 in the State Capitol;
FAX: For comments less than 5 pages in length, transmit to 586-8504 (Oahu) or 1-800-535-3859 (Neighbor Islands)
WEB: For comments less than 4MB in size, transmit through the webpage at: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/emailtestimony

The Senate WTL Committee is:
Chair: Senator Clayton Hee (email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Vice-Char: Senator Jill N. Tokuda (email:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Senator Robert Bunda (email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Senator Carol Fukunaga (email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Senator Russell S. Kokubun (email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Senator Dwight Y. Takamine (email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Senator Fred Hemmings (email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))

About Manta Pacific Research Foundation
At Manta Pacific Research Foundation, our mission is to study manta rays in their natural habitat, conduct scientific research, provide education programs for the public about manta rays and the marine environment, and to establish and promote worldwide manta ray conservation.

Manta Pacific Research Foundation