(BIVN) – New recreational and commercial fishing rules have been approved by the Hawaiʻi Board of Land and Natural Resources, which include the establishment of a non-resident recreational fishing license and a license for commercial marine vessels.
The BLNR made amendments to the rules during its meeting on Friday, as outlined by the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources. The new rules:
- Establish and add provisions for a new Nonresident Recreational Marine Fishing License (NRMFL).
- Establish and add provisions for a new Commercial Marine Vessel License (CMVL).
- Establish and add provisions for a new Commercial Marine Dealer License (CMDL).
- Increase the fee for the Bait License, the Mullet Pond Operator and Closed Season Sales License, the Kona Crab and Lobster Closed Season Sales License, the Special Marine Animal or Product Possession and Sale License, and the Aquaculture License.
- Remove the Northwestern Hawai‘i Islands Fishing Permit.
- Add a catch reporting requirement for all Bait License holders.
- Establish a fee for duplicate Aquaculture Licenses and licenses to sell reared species.
- Give the Department discretion to require additional reports from Aquaculture License holders.
- Establish a fee of $200 for a license to sell reared species.
According to the DLNR:
The non-resident fishing license was authorized by House Bill 1023 and signed into law by former Governor David Ige in June 2021. During a public meeting one person suggested that license fees go directly to DAR and the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE). By law, NRMFL fees must be deposited into the DLNR Sport Fish Special Fund and can only be used for eligible sport fish projects. It’s expected the new licenses will generate $1 million each year.
DAR was commended by one testifier for implementing the long-awaited Commercial Marine Vessel License, for which commercial fishers have been advocating for years.
The division received multiple suggestions about making other changes in the proposed rules but, elected to move forward with the package as written, as it is the result of extensive scoping. The rules package passed unanimously and now DAR will begin implementation of the new rules, beginning next month through the summer.
The cost of the NRMFL (non-resident license) is $20 for one day, $40 for seven days, and $70 for an annual license.