WAILUKU, Hawaii — An environmental court judge is reversing a decision that denied a Native Hawaiian fisherman’s petition to stop Hawaii officials from issuing commercial fishing licenses to those who aren’t legally admitted into the United States.

The judge earlier this week issued a written order sending Malama Chun’s petition back to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources.

Chun appealed after the board denied his petition. He filed his petition last year in response to an Associated Press investigation that found hundreds of foreign fishermen confined to boats and some living in subpar conditions. Hawaii grants the foreign fishermen licenses to fish, but they aren’t allowed to enter the country.

The board said Chun didn’t show how not issuing the licenses would address his concerns about overfishing and cultural practices.