Hawaii bill seeks more oversight over commercial fishing

Hawaii bill seeks more oversight over commercial fishing

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are calling for more oversight of the commercial fishing industry after an Associated Press investigation found hundreds of foreign fishermen living in subpar conditions and confined to boats.

A bill would require fishing boat owners who want a commercial license to provide to the state a copy of the employment contracts with every fisherman before the license is granted.

The fishing industry is pushing back, saying it's already highly regulated by the federal government. The industry also initiated a universal contract to be signed by crew members and boat owners.

Rep. Kaniela Ing says the universal contract and the idea of the industry policing itself are not enough.

Ing's bill is being heard in the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs on Tuesday.

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