HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to fishing.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that of the twenty-three coastal states in the United States, Hawai‘i is the only state that does not require a non-commercial marine fishing registry, permit, or license. The State has required a license for commercial fishing since 1925, a license for freshwater game fishing since 1949, and a license to hunt since 1907.
The legislature also finds that there is very limited data available about the non-commercial marine fishing activity that occurs in Hawai‘i, including the number of fishers, type and amount of species caught, and uses of the marine life. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that in 2011 there were 155,000 non-commercial marine fishers active in the State. In comparison, there were 3,715 commercial marine licensees and 5,189 freshwater game fishing licensees in 2015. Although the non-commercial marine fishing activity vastly outweighs that of commercial marine and freshwater fishers combined, most fishery managers would agree that data about the non-commercial marine fishing activity is almost non-existent.
The legislature further finds that intertwined with the public's right to access and use public fisheries in state waters is the duty of the State to manage these fisheries and protect their long term use. While the Hawai‘i State Constitution and state law do not prevent the State from creating a non-commercial marine fishing license, the department of land and natural resources does not have the statutory authority to do so.
The legislature therefore concludes that the lack of a system to oversee non-commercial marine fishing deprives the State of a means to effectively manage the use of its saltwater fisheries for non-commercial purposes. This Act will expand the existing freshwater game fishing license into a comprehensive non-commercial fishing license that covers freshwater and saltwater activity for non-commercial purposes.
A combined freshwater and saltwater non-commercial fishing license will allow for better management of fishing across the State. This includes generating needed revenue for department of land and natural resources' projects that support non-commercial fishing. Similar to freshwater game fishers, non-commercial marine fishers will also be required to pay a reasonable annual fee. Fees will be deposited into the sport fish special fund, which restricts the use of funds to programs and activities related to aquatic resources. The resident fee for the combined non-commercial license will be capped at $10 per year for the first three years that the licensure requirement to catch marine life for non-commercial purposes is in effect. However, while the department of land and natural resources is required to set the licensing fee at a specific amount, this Act does not specify the duration for which a license is valid and that the department may issue short-term non-commercial fishing licenses, such as one-day or seven-day licenses.
A further benefit of expanding the freshwater game fishing license to include non-commercial marine fishing is that it may increase the State's share of matching federal funds from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration (Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux) Act, which is based in part on the number of the State's paid recreational fishing license holders. Currently Hawai‘i receives one per cent of eligible federal match funds; the cap is five per cent, with most states receiving between one and four per cent.
The purpose of this Act is to require the department of land and natural resources to license non-commercial marine fishing, effective June 1, 2022, by expanding the existing freshwater game fishing license to include non-commercial marine fishing.
SECTION 2. Section 188-50, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
freshwater and marine fishing license; application; fees; restrictions. (a) It
is unlawful for any person, except children below nine years of age, to fish,
take, or catch any [ introduced] freshwater game fish or marine life for
non-commercial purposes without first obtaining a non-commercial freshwater
and marine fishing license. Children
exempt by this section may fish[ ,]; provided that they are
accompanied by a licensed person. The
department of land and natural resources may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91
necessary for the purposes of this chapter and to set fees for [ freshwater
game fish fishing.] non-commercial freshwater and marine fishing licenses.
The licenses [
may] shall be issued by agents of the
department of land and natural resources upon written application in such form
as may be prescribed by the department together with payment of a fee. The fees for licenses and duplicate licenses
shall be established by the department by rules adopted in accordance with
chapter 91[ .]; provided that:
(1) The resident fee for a license issued beginning June 1, 2022, and ending May 31, 2025, shall be set at no more than $10 per year;
(2) The non-resident fee shall be at least five times the amount of the resident fee; and
(3) Waivers or exemptions are prohibited unless otherwise required by law.
(c) No person to whom a license has been issued under this section shall permit any other person to carry, display, or use the license for any purpose. Every person to whom a license has been issued under this section shall show the license upon demand of any officer authorized to enforce the fishing laws of the State. No person shall refuse any officer the examination or inspection of any bag or container of any kind used to carry fish or any vehicle or conveyance used to transport fish.
The department, upon written
application, may issue a permit to a club or group of minors, [
less than five in number, for unlicensed freshwater fishing where such
activity will be supervised by responsible adults. All adults accompanying the excursions,
however, shall themselves be licensed.
The application shall state the area to be visited, the dates for the
excursion, the name of the organization or group, and shall be signed by an adult
advisor of the group. The permits shall
expire and become void thirty days after issuance. The department may determine other terms and
conditions of the permits.
Where a bag limit is specified for the [
catching of freshwater fish,]
catch, each licensee may take only one bag per day. This restriction to one bag applies to each
minor participating in unlicensed group excursions for which permits have been
issued under this section. The catch of
a child below the age of nine years shall be deemed part of the catch of the
licensed adult accompanying the child.
(e) The department may suspend or revoke any license for any infraction of the terms and conditions of the license. Any person whose license has been revoked shall not be eligible to apply for another license until expiration of one year from the date of revocation.
(f) The department shall suspend, refuse to renew, reinstate, or restore, or deny any license or application if the department has received certification from the child support enforcement agency pursuant to section 576D-13 that the licensee or applicant is not in compliance with an order of support as defined in section 576D-1 or has failed to comply with a subpoena or warrant relating to a paternity or child support proceeding. The department shall issue, renew, restore, or reinstate a license only upon receipt of an authorization from the child support enforcement agency, the office of child support hearings, or the family court.
(g) Any person who has any outstanding criminal or administrative fines resulting from a violation of subtitle 5 of title 12, or any rules adopted thereunder, shall not be eligible to obtain or renew a non-commercial freshwater and marine fishing license.
(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict the exercise of traditional and customary rights protected pursuant to article XII, section 7, of the Hawaii State Constitution; provided that the rules adopted pursuant to subsection (a) shall allow for the exercise of traditional and customary practices by minimizing, to the extent practicable, any burden on practitioners, including burdens associated with obtaining a license or paying applicable fees, if any.
(i) In the adoption of rules pursuant to subsection (a) and in the implementation of the licensing requirement under this section, the department shall explicitly consider and ensure reasonable opportunities for all residents to apply for and obtain a non-commercial freshwater and marine fishing license, including:
(1) Persons residing in remote or rural communities;
(2) Persons who may be limited English proficient;
(3) Persons with limited transportation capacity; and
(4) Persons who may face disproportionate burdens in obtaining a license."
SECTION 3. The department of land and natural resources shall engage in robust public outreach prior to the implementation of the non-commercial marine license, which shall include at least one meeting on each of the seven inhabited islands of the State.
SECTION 4. The department of land and natural resources shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular sessions of 2022 and 2023. Each report shall:
(1) Describe the actions taken by the department to implement this Act;
(2) Make recommendations for any proposed legislation, including any additional resources required by the department;
(3) State the annual aggregated numbers of applications received, granted, and denied and the number of licenses suspended, revoked, refused to renew, reinstated, and restored pursuant to section 188-50, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and
(4) Describe any enforcement actions and their disposition.
SECTION 5. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that the requirement to obtain a license to catch marine life for non-commercial purposes shall not be enforced until June 1, 2022.
Department of Land and Natural Resources; Non-commercial Freshwater and Marine License
Requires the department of land and natural resources to license non-commercial marine fishing along with freshwater fishing, engage in public outreach prior to implementing the combined non-commercial freshwater and marine fishing license, and submit reports to the legislature. Prohibits enforcement of requirement to obtain a license to catch marine life for non-commercial purposes until 6/1/2022.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.