Review of bill planned seeking licensing system for aquatic life businesses

July 9, 2010, 9:11 PM HST · Updated July 9, 9:11 PM
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The Maui County Council’s Public Services Committee will return to deliberations on Wednesday at 9 a.m. regarding a bill to establish a licensing system for aquatic life business operations.

Wayne Nishiki. File photo by Wendy Osher.

The bill was returned to Committee by the full Council on July 2, along with a separate bill related to the humane treatment of aquatic life (that will not be considered at the meeting). Committee Chair Wayne K. Nishiki said that while he is disappointed with the legislation being recommitted, he is confident that the Public Services Committee – aided by public testimony received at the July 2 Council meeting and at its own meeting on Wednesday – will be able to revise the licensing bill in a manner that receives support from both the public and the Council.

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“We’ll work diligently on this licensing bill and get it right,” Nishiki said. “But just so the public is clear, this bill was never meant to be about koi ponds, fishermen, those who dedicate their time to eradicate our waters of invasive fish species, or those who keep aquariums in their homes.

“This bill is also not about creating loopholes that would allow for the exhibition of captive marine mammals or about putting pet stores out of business. This licensing bill is simply about protecting our fragile marine environment and fairly regulating those businesses that profit from the taking of our wild aquatic life from the natural environment,” Nishiki said.

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