(BIVN) – A marine recreational fishing license will soon be required for non-residents before they fish from the shoreline or from a boat in Hawaiian waters.
From the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources:
Today, Gov. David Ige signed House Bill 1023 into law. It establishes and requires a marine recreational fishing license for all non-Hawai‘i residents. Visitors will need to purchase this license in order to fish from the shoreline or a boat in Hawaiian waters.
Charter boat clients are included in the new law, which took effect immediately upon signing. However, the bill requires the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) to first adopt a corresponding administrative rule and to develop a licensing system. This process could take close to a year to complete.
According to DAR administrator Brian Neilson, the bill was a component of an administrative package submitted to the 2021 legislature by DLNR. Neilson noted, “Marine fishing opportunities attract thousands of visitors each year, including tournament professionals. Visitors will gladly pay to fish premier fisheries and support fisheries management in Hawai‘i.”
Most states require fishing licenses, so getting a license should prove routine for most fishers.
Revenues generated by license sales will help support fishing opportunities and provide state-matching funds for the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program. By law, revenues will be put into a special fund that can only be used for sport fish management. Recreational fishing license revenues must, by law, be deposited into a special fund, and may be used only for sport fish management. DAR has a number of continuing sport fish restoration projects, including fish aggregating devices (FADs), artificial reefs, fish stocking, and others which benefit recreational fishers.
According to the State of Hawaiʻi, the out-of-state fishing license fees are as follows:
- One-day license $20
- Seven-day license $40
- Annual license $70
- No license needed for children 15 and younger
- No license needed for active military, spouses, and children
The Hawaiʻi DLNR says it “has the option of increasing fees, but not more than once every five years, and increases must be tied to the consumer price index.”
The State estimates that once it is up and running, fishing licenses for non-residents will generate upwards of $1 million annually.
HB 1023 was one of nine bills relating to aquatic resources signed into law Tuesday afternoon, after being passed by the Hawai‘i State Legislature this year.