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Another attempt to shut down Hawaii's aquarium fishery

By Leonard Ho - Posted Oct 06, 2011 07:00 AM
Via Ret Talbot, Coral Magazine: Maui anti-trade activists have initiated another attempt to end aquarium fish collection in Hawaii. However, unlike the Hawaii Senate bill from earlier this year, the new proposition is an empty threat in the form of a resolution.
Another attempt to shut down Hawaii's aquarium fishery

A school of Yellow Tangs in the wild. Photo by Chris Wilson.

Activists in Hawaii are once again trying to shut down the aquarium fishery industry in its local waters.  Earlier this year, Hawaii Senate Bill HB580 sought to prohibit the collecting and selling of aquatic life for aquariums, but has since been amended to become an entirely different bill (with the purpose of establishing new marine reserves). There is now a new attempt to target the aquarium fishery industry.

According to a new article by Ret Talbot for Coral Magazine:

On Wednesday, 5 October, a resolution to ban the aquarium trade in Hawai’i will be up for discussion at the Hawai’i County Council meeting on the island of Hawai’i (the Big Island).

We encourage you to read the article in its entirety, which does an excellent job covering the opposing opinions and providing background on fishery management in Hawaii. The one thing Advanced Aquarist would like to point out is that resolutions are, in essence, teethless.  Unlike the real threat of a bill (such as HB580), resolutions are more symbolic than legislative and do not have force of law.  Still, seeing this issue crop up again so quickly after the failure of HB580 caught us by surprise.  If nothing else, the anti-trade propaganda gives our hobby bad press through demagoguery when the focus really should be on effective fishery management.  As the Department of Aquatic Resources' recent report indicates, yellow tang populations are on the rise despite more specimens being collected than ever before.  Why?  Because of smart fishery management.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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