Jun 182017

Animal advocates and conservationists have been working for years to stop the devastating impact on Hawaii’s native fish populations and coral reefs that results from removing fish for the aquarium trade, and now a bill that would help phase out the trade just needs the governor’s signature to become law.

Millions of tropical fish are taken from Earth’s oceans every year to supply the aquarium trade, and Hawaii’s waters are a major source of those fish. While methods of capture vary from place to place, and can range from using nets to highly toxic cyanide, animal advocates and conservationists have continued to raise concerns about the impact the trade is having on marine ecosystems, and the toll it’s taking on the actual fish who are taken.

For example, the fish who are torn from their homes suffer from the stress of captures, handling and transport, and many don’t live much longer once they reach their final destination. According to For the Fishes, only one in five fish survive more than six weeks after being captured, while the high mortality rate continues to raise the demand for more fish.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

In Hawaii, there’s currently no limit on how many permits can be issued to collect fish, or on how many fish collectors can take.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, reports filed with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) have shown that at least 700,000 fish, hermit crabs and other reef species are caught in Hawaii and sold for aquariums elsewhere every year, but that is a conservative estimate because reported take isn’t verifiable and the actual numbers are believed to be over one million animals being taken annually.

Lawmakers in the state recently passed legislation (SB 1240) that would help phase out collection for the aquarium trade by stopping the state from issuing new permits and requiring the DLNR to submit legislation that defines what “sustainable” means when it comes to collecting fish, among other measures.

The bill is widely supported by residents who are concerned with the impact the trade is having on fish populations, and how their absence is affecting coral reefs that depend on them. Even wildlife officials have acknowledged that herbivorous fish who are targeted by the trade are believed to be key to protecting and restoring reefs that have suffered from bleaching.

Now, it just needs Governor David Ige’s signature to become a law, and supporters are rallying support to get him to sign it.

“Hawaii residents are obviously well-informed, solution-oriented, and counting on Governor Ige to do the right thing” said Rene Umberger, executive director of For the Fishes. “Experts agree that herbivore populations are key to coral reef health, and it’s no coincidence that the herbivores taken for aquariums are missing from our reefs by the millions. SB1240 recognizes the true value of this marine life and we hope the Governor will heed the wishes of his constituents and sign this important legislation.”

Take Action!

Please sign and share the petition urging Governor Ige to protect Hawaii’s fish and reefs by signing this important piece of legislation.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 08 Jun 2017.


Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter



Share on social media:

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Sandra Stringfellow


Chris Newman

What an utterly inaccurate, irresponsible and disingenuous article. Any self-respecting author with any genuine concern for conservation would be ashamed to put their name to such a piece which is why I assume in unattributed?

michelle taylor

Chris Newman,This is an excellent,highly accurate article.You obviously have zero compassion for animals.Shame on you!


Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should the cruel sport of bullfighting be banned? [2279 Views]
  2. Karma Strikes Again: Trophy Hunter Killed by Elephant [1124 Views]
  3. POLL: Should all circuses with wild animals be closed down? [977 Views]
  4. ‘Kill them, kill them, kill them’: the volunteer army plotting to wipe out Britain’s grey squirrels [820 Views]
  5. Bald Eagle Adopts Baby Hawk Instead of Eating Him [772 Views]
  6. $10,000 reward offered to find killer of famous Yellowstone white wolf [701 Views]
  7. POLL: Should the Grizzly Bear be removed from the Endangered Species List? [688 Views]
  8. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [642 Views]
  9. Heroic Boat Captain Rescues Entangled Great White Shark [622 Views]
  10. Elephants Can’t Wait to Meet New Rescued Baby at Sanctuary [617 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [42100 Views]
  2. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16884 Views]
  3. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11108 Views]
  4. POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [9198 Views]
  5. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8679 Views]
  6. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8246 Views]
  7. POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7448 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the killing of giraffes be outlawed? [4694 Views]
  9. POLL: Should the slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroes be stopped? [4659 Views]
  10. POLL: Should Spain’s “Running of the Bulls” festival be banned? [4609 Views]