USA: Positive Long Term News For Reef Fish ?

Aloha Mark,

Last year, with the help of thousands of Turtle Island Restoration Network supporters, we urged Hawaiian state legislators to support a bill that would have ended the unsustainable aquarium trade in reef fish.

The aquarium trade snatches wild fish from coral reefs, puts them in plastic bags, and ships them off to be sold for private aquariums. As you can imagine, a staggering 99% of these animals die within a year and require replacement.

Some activists have estimated that half a million fish are caught every month by this industry. Our coral reefs simply can not handle this extraction – the fish need to stay on the reef where they belong!

The bill made it through both houses and ended up on Governor David Ige’s desk where, much to our disappointment, he vetoed it.

Fortunately, a separate litigation track was underway by an allied organization.

Last week, in response to a favorable court ruling, the Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources announced that no aquatic life may be taken for commercial aquarium purposes off West Hawai‘i until an environmental review is completed.

Stopping the aquarium trade will help protect Hawaii’s magnificent marine fish including yellow tangs, Potter’s angelfish, blueline butterflyfish, moorish idols, and so many more.

Let’s celebrate this victory!

But as with any victory, we must stay vigilant, especially as the environmental review is conducted.

Stay tuned for how you can help us watchdog the environmental review process to make sure that Hawaiian coral reefs are truly protected from this devastating industry.


Cheryl King, Hawai`i Program Director
Turtle Island Restoration Network


Above Photos 1: Bruce Weyermann / Photo 2: Robert Wintner







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