Hawaii bill would bar licenses for some foreign fishermen - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii bill would bar licenses for some foreign fishermen

(Image: Hawaii News Now/file) (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A proposal in the Hawaii Legislature has the potential to shake up the fishing industry and the permit process for foreign fishermen. An Associated Press investigation found foreign fishermen confined to boats off Honolulu and living in subpar conditions.

A federal legal loophole allows the fishermen to fish off the coast of Hawaii, even though they are technically not allowed to enter the United States.

Sen. Karl Rhoads wants to change that by barring state officials from issuing fishing licenses to crew members who don't have permission to land in the country.

Jim Cook of the Hawaii Longline Association says that could result in no foreign crew working in the fishery, which would be devastating.

The bill will be heard in two Hawaii Senate Committees on Wednesday.

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