Hawaii & Alaska
Honolulu Civil Beat

HI - Hawaii Marks World Oceans Day With 9 New Laws To Protect Sharks And Marine Life

The measures cover a range of issues focused on ocean conservation, resource management, regulation and enforcement.

Beginning Jan. 1 there will be steep penalties for intentionally or knowingly capturing, entangling or killing a shark in state marine waters.

House Bill 553, which failed to pass in previous legislative sessions, was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. David Ige.

Opponents sought exemptions for research, subsistence fishing and incidental takes. While some exemptions will be allowed — e.g., killing in self defense, incidental captures or in accordance with protected cultural practices — the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is now tasked with establishing rules based on the bill.

The penalty for a first offense will be $500 and as much as $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense. Administrative fees, costs and attorney fees might also be levied.

Penalties could also involve seizure and forfeiture of any captured sharks or shark parts and commercial marine licenses, vessels and fishing equipment.

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