Controversial Hawaii Bill Sparks Opposition from Ocean Operators


Well-known member
Aug 26, 2023
Commercial ocean operators in Hawaii are opposed to House Bill 2477, which proposes changes to the permitting process. The bill suggests that commercial use permits should be issued through an open public auction, which would prevent existing operators from selling their permits and force newcomers into a bidding competition. Operators are concerned about the potential increase in costs and the negative impact on tourism, as the new system could require them to raise their service rates. While the bill includes a provision that allows permits to be transferred to relatives, there are concerns for owners without heirs, as this could potentially nullify years of investment. The State Boating Administrator insists that the bill only targets new permits and aims to address over-commercialization without revoking existing ones.

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Hawaii, United States
As long as it's targeted towards newer filed permits, I don't necessarily see an issue here. I'm not sure about an open and public auction for permits. I especially don't like that it could result in newcomers being forced to bid to get their permit. It doesn't sound fair to me, especially if there are people who more money and in turn can outbid some of them. If you can buy a permit freely from the current rules, I'd say stick with the current rules.