Maui News

Recreational Fishing Licenses to be Required for Visitors

June 10, 2021, 7:30 AM HST
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Charter fishing vessels at Kewalo Basin (June, 4, 2021). Photo Courtesy: DLNR.

Governor David Ige signed a law that establishes and requires a marine recreational fishing license for all non-Hawai‘i residents who want to fish from the shorelines or a boat in Hawaiian waters.

The licenses from House Bill 1023 are expected to generate upwards of $1 million annually in revenue for sport fish restoration projects, according to DLNR.

“Marine fishing opportunities attract thousands of visitors each year, including tournament professionals,” said DAR administrator Brian Neilson. “Visitors will gladly pay to fish premier fisheries and support fisheries management in Hawai‘i.”

Charter boat clients are included in the new law, which took effect immediately upon signing. However, the bill requires the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources to first adopt a corresponding administrative rule and to develop a licensing system. This process could take close to a year to complete, according to DLNR.

Revenues generated by license sales will help support fishing opportunities and provide state-matching funds for the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program. Recreational fishing license revenues must, by law, be deposited into a special fund, and may be used only for sport fish management.

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DAR has a number of continuing sport fish restoration projects, including fish aggregating devices (FADs), artificial reefs, fish stocking, and others that benefit recreational fishers.

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Out-of-state fishing license fees are:

  • One-day license $20
  • Seven-day license $40
  • Annual license $70
  • No license needed for children 15 and younger
  • No license needed for active military, spouses, and children

DLNR has the option of increasing fees, but not more than once every five years, and increases must be tied to the consumer price index. It’s estimated once up and running, fishing licenses for non-residents will generate upwards of $1 million annually.

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