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The Latest: Hawaii lawmakers press fishing industry

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2016 file photo, fishermen stand on a boat at Pier 38 in Honolulu. A group of Hawaii lawmakers is holding a public meeting to discuss conditions among the Hawaii longline fleet. The Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, meeting follows an Associated Press investigation which found that some fishermen have been confined to vessels for years. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)
October 19, 2016 - 7:39 PM

HONOLULU - The Latest on a meeting to discuss conditions among the Hawaii longline fleet (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Hawaii lawmakers are pressing representatives from the fishing industry about what can be done to improve conditions for workers.

A former boat observer said Wednesday she stayed on boats where there were no toilets or showers.

State Rep. Kaniela Ing is asking the Hawaii Longline Association to provide contracts between fishermen and boat captains to the state.

Jim Cook of the Hawaii Longline Association says he believes that's possible.

The association also began distributing a universal crew contract to boat owners, but some doubt that will improve the situation.

Before the meeting, Hawaii residents rallied outside the state capitol to call for better conditions for fishermen.

Some protesters say there needs to be a rejection of the industry's proposal for self-regulation.

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9 a.m.

Hawaii citizens are planning a rally outside the state capitol to call for better conditions for fishermen.

They're demanding an end to what they call unacceptable living and working conditions found on some U.S. fishing vessels docked in Hawaii.

The protest coincides with a meeting Wednesday about the topic organized by Hawaii lawmakers.

The meeting follows an Associated Press investigation which found that some fishermen have been confined to vessels for years. Many are foreign fishermen who have to stay in the boats because they are not legally allowed to enter the US.

A federal loophole allows the foreign men to work but exempts them from most basic labour protections.

The meeting will include representatives from the Hawaii Longline Association and other fishing and government groups.

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12 a.m.

A group of Hawaii lawmakers is holding a public meeting to discuss conditions among the Hawaii longline fleet.

The Wednesday meeting follows an Associated Press investigation which found that some fishermen have been confined to vessels for years. Many are foreign fishermen who have to stay in the boats because they are not legally allowed to enter the US.

A federal loophole allows the foreign men to work but exempts them from most basic labour protections.

State Rep. Kaniela Ing says lawmakers have a duty to find accountability and put an end to the alleged working conditions on Hawaii docks.

The meeting will include representatives from the Hawaii Longline Association and other fishing groups. It also will include representatives from government agencies such as the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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