"The Ledge" is produced by the office of Rep. Hermina Morita. Here's the latest video on Manta Rays:
Representative Denny Coffman, a freshman lawmaker from the Big Island, talks about a pro-active measure he introduced this session that would make it illegal to kill or capture manta rays. Only 154 manta rays have been identified in Kona, Hawaii since 1992. These majestic creatures are susceptible to overfishing and are hunted and killed for their dried gill rakers in order produce traditional Asian medicine. There is no immediate threat to the manta population in Hawaii. However, new demand for manta rays have already threatened local populations in Indonesia, Mexico and the Phillipines. HB366 makes an exception for special permits granted for scientific, education, management and propagation purposes.
The Senate Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs will be hearing HB 366 March 18, 2009 at 3 p.m. in conference room 229.