Hawaii lawmakers hold meeting on fishing labor conditions

Hawaii lawmakers hold meeting on fishing labor conditions

HONOLULU (AP) - A group of Hawaii lawmakers is holding a public meeting to discuss conditions among the Hawaii longline fleet.

The Wednesday meeting follows an Associated Press investigation which found that some fishermen have been confined to vessels for years. Many are foreign fishermen who have to stay in the boats because they are not legally allowed to enter the US.

A federal loophole allows the foreign men to work but exempts them from most basic labor protections.

State Rep. Kaniela Ing says lawmakers have a duty to find accountability and put an end to the alleged working conditions on Hawaii docks.

The meeting will include representatives from the Hawaii Longline Association and other fishing groups. It also will include representatives from government agencies such as the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

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