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Mon, May 16, 2022

Drone Fishing Is Getting Caught In A Net

Hawaii May Be First To Make Drone Fishing Illegal

The Hawaiian fishing community is awaiting the outcome of Governor David Ige’s actions regarding the use of drones to fish in or near the state’s waters.

Mr. Ige, Governor of Hawaii is expected to either vote yes or veto Senate Bill SB2065 which had already passed Hawaii’s House of Representatives and its Senate earlier this month. SB2065 permits the use of drones for “simple reconnaissance”, and those wishing to use a drone for the approved purpose must then apply to the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) for a permit.

Apparently, there has been an increase in the use of drones to fish off-shore, and DLNR has raised environmental as well as safety concerns over wildlife and people being caught in fishing lines, in addition to ocean debris from abandoned or broken equipment. Numerous points of contention have arisen; unfair banning without regulation; negative impact on subsistence fishers; regulation is not the answer, responsible fishing is/should be.

Six lawmakers, one an active drone fisher voted against SB2065. The State legislature recommended some amendments be made to the bill, which will be sent back for a floor vote. If passed, SB2065 will take effect immediately, as will the penalties for violations, the levying of a $10,000 fine, and a year in jail.

Mr. Ige, a politician and engineer, was previously a member of the Hawaii State Representatives, and also the Hawaii Senate until 1 December 2014 when he ascended to the role of governor.

FMI: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov

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