On Tuesday, Governor David Ige announced his veto of HB1133, a bill that would have limited the amount of commercial use permits for the Molokini Shoal Marine Life Conservation District to 40 and limit access at any given time to no more than 50 percent of the permit holders.
“This measure is unnecessary as DLNR already limits the number of Molokini Shoal MLCD commercial use permits to 40,” Ige said in a statement. “DLNR is in the process of working with the commercial use permit holders to adjust the operating schedules to coordinate access to better manage the impact of commercial activity on this precious natural resource.”
West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey expressed his disappointment with the veto.
“I am very disappointed that my bill to limit the number of commercial use permits for the Molokini Shoal Marine Life Conservation District has been vetoed,” he said. “HB1133 would not only have been good for the environment and business but would also benefit tourism by making a visit to the shoal a better experience for visitors.
“Policy should be set by the legislature to allow for public input and transparency and not by the DLNR which chooses to hold limited public hearings and arbitrarily decide what standards to use. We are not in the business of cutting off the public from government. While there are concerns about the size of boats under the current permit system, nothing in this measure prohibits the DLNR from addressing this issue in rules pursuant to the statute being passed, as it should be.”
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