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Hawaii Fishing Licenses

Commercial fishing in HI is allowed so long as individuals have completed the Hawaii commercial fishing license application process. Depending on the type of fishing an angler is taking part in – whether it is catching fish for personal use or business purposes – each individual in the state must have the correct license to fish. HI commercial fishing licenses are required for all anglers planning on fishing in state freshwater areas for commercial purposes.

Resident and non resident commercial anglers can buy commercial fishing licenses through the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Aquatic Resources. Individuals found to be fishing commercially in the state without a proper commercial fishing license will incur a number of fines and penalties. Additional requirements for commercial anglers include submitting monthly fishing reports to the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Specific commercial fishing permits are also required for charter fishing expeditions in Hawaii as well. Though the persons running a charter fishing expedition business may not be physically fishing themselves, they are profiting from fishing practices in the state. Therefore, they must have the proper commercial fishing license credentials to continue their business practices. The Division of Aquatic Resources has laid out a specific process that gives anglers a clear explanation of how to buy commercial fishing licenses in Hawaii. The state of Hawaii offers both residential and nonresidential commercial fishing licenses, as well as fishing permits for specific kinds of commercial vessels and commercial fishing types. Depending on which type of commercial fishing permit an individual buys from the Division of Aquatic Resources, the fee rate for the license may vary. To lower the possibility of anglers making a mistake and choosing the wrong fishing permit, anglers should make sure they know everything they need about commercial fishing licenses prior to completing the fishing license application process. Factors that are taken into account whenever anglers buy commercial fishing licenses in Hawaii include the applicant's residency status, age, the type of fish being caught and the length of the license's validity. Read the questions and answers outlined below to find out more about where to get commercial fishing licenses in Hawaii.


What is the difference between a resident and nonresident commercial fishing license in Hawaii?

Each state in the country offers fishing licenses with a distinction between resident and non resident fishing license credentials. Hawaii is no exception to this rule, as the state's Division of Aquatic Resources offers residential and non residential options for not just recreational fishing licenses but also for licenses to fish commercially.

Both residential and non resident fishing licenses give anglers the same privileges of taking fish from Hawaii's public waters and allow them to sell their catches to the public for one year (as commercial fishing licenses must be renewed annually). However, the main difference between resident and non resident fishing licenses is in the fee rates. Residents who have either lived in the state of Hawaii for at least 12 consecutive months or who have paid taxes in Hawaii during the last tax period prior to completing a fishing license application will receive a substantially lower rate than nonresidents and tourists. In order to receive this discount as a resident of Hawaii, commercial anglers must prove their residency to Division of Aquatic Resources officials during the commercial fishing license application submission process.

Do I have to file a commercial fishing report in Hawaii?

All anglers in Hawaii who possess a commercial fishing license are required to submit a monthly report to the Department of Land and Natural Resources with information about any bait that was taken and used during all fishing expeditions throughout the month, in addition to any marine species that were caught. Furthermore, licensed commercial anglers are required to submit monthly reports even if they did not fish on that given month. On non-fishing months, anglers should simply indicate “Did Not Fish" on the form.

Anglers who do not provide the department with a proper monthly report will be subject to possible revocation of their license to fish commercially. Commercial fishing reports must be sent no later than 10 days after the month in which the fishing activity occurred. However, if any Deep 7 species were taken, the report must be sent within five days. Deep 7 species include lehi, ehu, onaga, opakapaka, kalekale, gindai and hapu'upu'u. For added convenience, these reports can be submitted to the Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Aquatic Resources online.

How can I renew my Hawaii commercial fishing permit?

The commercial fishing license renewal process in Hawaii can be completed online through the state's wildlife department. To renew fishing permits, anglers with expired fishing permits should visit the Division of Aquatic Resources online system. Once there, applicants can type in their personal information and pay the applicable fee. Commercial fishing license fees vary based on the applicant's residency status.

How can I get a Hawaii commercial fishing license replacement?

Anglers dealing with lost or stolen commercial fishing license credentials in Hawaii can replace their fishing license through the HI Division of Aquatic Resources. To replace a commercial fishing credential in the state, anglers must visit the online system on the Department of Land and Natural Resources website. Commercial anglers must provide some identification information as well as payment for the small fee to buy fishing license replacements.

Fishing Frequently Asked Questions

Oftentimes you can buy a fishing license through your state’s fishing department website. You will most likely need to create an account on the webpage and have a printer nearby to finalize your transaction. Make sure to also have a valid credit card on hand, as no other form of payment is accepted by state departments online. Take note that, as proof of your residency, you may be required to enter your driver’s license number.
In a general sense, a good number of states offer the following types of fishing licenses: a regular fishing license and a commercial fishing license. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to get a saltwater license to fish, if you are by coastal waters. In addition to these permits, you may be required to buy a fishing stamp, depending on the specific type of fish species you intend to catch.
A regular fishing permit is often valid for the period of a full year. However, you may also have the option to obtain a license to fish that is good for 24 hours or 72 hours, for example. In some instances, a weekly fishing license or a lifetime license may also be available. Lifetime licenses to fish are the most suitable option for those anglers who intend to fish for the duration of their lives. Keep in mind that if you would like to continue fishing after the expiration date of your current licensure, you will be required to get a new permit to fish.
The fees related to a state fishing license may vary, depending on a few factors. But senior residents and military veterans can usually get a fishing license that is free of charge, as long as they can present official documentation that supports their residency or military service. Resident licenses to fish are often more affordable than nonresident licenses. The most costly licenses are for those who would like to get lifetime credentials.
In the event that you have lost your fishing license or it was stolen, the most common way to obtain a duplicate is through your state’s fishing department. You may be required to make an in-person visit to a nearby office or to contact a licensed agent directly. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to order a fishing permit replacement online. But, to be sure, it is important that you double check with your state department first, as you may also need to bring in certain documentation, such as your driver’s license or ID card.
This site is privately owned and is neither affiliated with, nor endorsed by, nor operated by a government agency.