For years, aquarium fish collectors have taken thousands of fish off Hawai'i's reefs with little oversight or restrictions. Local activists have been trying to get legislation passed to better regulate and/or end the aquarium fish trade, even taking the issue to the Supreme Court and winning in 2017. The court ordered a stop to the commercial collection of aquarium fish in Hawaii pending an environmental review.
Now, a firm funded by a major proponent of the aquarium industry has submitted their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in an attempt to reopen commercial collection. It's concerning to say the least and would monopolize the industry, providing permits to 14 collectors on the Big Island, with no plans for increased oversight, monitoring or tracking of the industry’s exports. It's also worth noting that 2 of the 14 proposed collectors have already been cited for violating the moratorium.
HOW TO HELP:
Write to the Board of Land And Natural Resources and encourage them to REJECT the proposed EIS.
You can e-mail them at BLNR.Testimony@Hawaii.gov by Thursday, May 21st 2020 at 9a.m HST (don’t forget to include your first and last name).