Hawai'i State News

State Board of Land and Natural Resources approves new recreational, commercial fishing rules

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Fishermen work on a fishing vessel June 4, 2021, in the Kewalo Basin Harbor of O‘ahu. (Courtesy of the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources)

The Hawai‘i Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday approved several new rules for recreational and commercial fishers in the islands.

The amendments to the state’s “License and Permit Provisions and Fees for Fishing, Fish and Fish Products” are:

  • Establish and add provisions for a new non-resident recreational marine fishing license.
  • Establish and add provisions for a new commercial marine vessel license.
  • Establish and add provisions for a new commercial marine dealer license.
  • Increase the fee for the bait license, mullet pond operator and closed season sales license, Kona crab and lobster closed season sales license, special marine animal or product possession and sale license and aquaculture license.
  • Remove the Northwestern Hawai‘i Islands fishing permit.
  • Add a catch reporting requirement for all bait license holders.
  • Establish a fee for duplicate aquaculture licenses and licenses to sell reared species.
  • Give the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources discretion to require additional reports from aquaculture license holders.
  • Establish a fee of $200 for a license to sell reared species.

The most notable additions are the establishment of a non-resident recreational fishing license and the license for commercial marine vessels.


The non-resident fishing license was authorized by the Hawai’i Legislature in House Bill 1023 and signed into law in June 2021 by former Gov. David Ige. Non-resident fishing license fees are deposited into the DLNR Sport Fish Special Fund and can only be used for eligible sport fish projects.

The cost of a non-resident license is $20 for one day, $40 for seven days or $70 for an annual license. It’s expected the new license fees will generate $1 million each year.

Input on the rule changes was received during a series of public meetings last year conducted throughout the state and online. The state Land Department Division of Aquatic Resources also proposed housekeeping amendments, including adding new definitions and amending or removing definitions no longer applicable.


The division received multiple suggestions about making other changes in the proposed rules, but elected to move forward with the package as written.

The rules package passed unanimously and the division will begin implementing the new guidelines next month.

For more information about non-resident fishing licenses, click here.

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