Legislation proposed to ban drone fishing in Hawaii
HAWAII has recently moved legislation forward to ban the use of drones for fishing.
Last Thursday, officials in Lihu’e briefed anglers on Senate Bill 2065 during a meeting held by the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources. While drones are allowed in Hawaii for recreational and commercial use, subject to rules and regulations, the legislation would prohibit “the possession or use of unmanned aerial vehicles in state waters for purposes of fishing.”
Drones are becoming increasingly popular tools for anglers around the globe, often used to locate fish and deploy baits and lures. According to the International Fish and Game Association, it is legal to fish with a drone anywhere in the United States provided the line detaches from the drone once a fish is hooked. In some US states, it is illegal to hook and pull a fish out of the water using a drone.
Recently, in testimony, Leimana DaMate, the Executive Director of Hawaii State Aha Moku, said, “It is important to not forget that native Hawaiian fishing and gathering practices and rights are protected by Hawaii State law. Unmanned aerial vehicles used for purposes of fishing would either purposely or inadvertently pinpoint fishing ko’a, gathering places of endangered limu, opihi and other marine coastal and deep-water species that have been preserved and maintained for generations.”