The Latest: Hawaii board considers foreign fishing licenses

HONOLULU, Hawaii – The Latest on the effort to change Hawaii’s rules for issuing commercial fishing licenses and protect foreign fisherman (all times local):

8:21 a.m.

A Hawaii state agency on Friday will consider a petition to change rules for commercial fishing licenses given to undocumented foreign fishermen.

The petition seeks more transparency and accountability in the licensing process and is seen as a measure to better protect foreign workers in the fleet. The petition came after an Associated Press investigation found hundreds of undocumented workers in the fleet.

The petition asks for changes that include certifying that the license applicant understands and has read the document. Petition backers say the foreign fishermen often do not speak English and can’t read the documents they are signing.

A lower agency has recommended that the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources deny the change because the request focuses on labour issues that are outside the department’s jurisdiction.