Hawaii Hearings on Aquarium Livestock Starting

05 Dec, 2012

Yellow Tangs schooling off Kona. New regulations would introduce collection limits and prohibit the taking of large specimens. Image: Marty Wakat/Shutterstock

RELEASE FROM the Pet Industry Joint Council (PIJAC)

Hawaii Agency To Hold Public Hearings To Adopt New Rules Governing Marine Ornamental Fish


** 1st Hearing Set For December 5th **
 More Info

The Issue:
The Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold public hearings on December 5th to receive public comments on their proposal to amend certain existing marine ornamental fish regulations and to adopt several new regulations for both West Hawaii and O’ahu.  Written testimony may be submitted until December 19, 2012.

The Impact:

The purpose of these hearings is to: 1) adopt new rules packages for the West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area (WHRFMA), 2) amend regulations in the Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) for Puako Bay and Reef Fisheries Management Area, the Keauhou Bay Fisheries Management Area, Laynets (Statewide), and 3) to amend existing regulations and to adopt new regulations in the Hawaii Administrative Rules for management of aquarium fish collecting in O’ahu.

These rules packages (see links above to obtain copies) are proposed by the DLNR to provide for additional regulation and oversight of the aquarium fish fishery, and other net and spear fisheries in Hawaii.  These proposed rules are supported by most aquarium fishermen in the Hawaiian ornamental industry.  They believe that the proposed changes benefit not only the resource, but also the industry.  The North American industry participants should embrace the proposed additional management of the fishery as well.  Supporting these new and amended rules will benefit the long term health of the marine resources the industry and the State depend on.   Support will also provide a viable future for a pro-actively managed fishery and ensure continued trade in marine aquarium fish from Hawaiian waters.

Both rules packages contain a variety of provisions including the imposition of bag and size limits on certain species, no take of other species, net size limits, certain closures, rules and boundary clarifications.  While not perfect, these proposed rules reflect proactive and cooperative efforts by the DLNR and the Aquarium Fish Fishery to regulate and manage the State’s near-shore fisheries.  While the Aquarium Fish Fishery in Hawaii is already one of the best managed fisheries in the entire state, and in North America, supporting additional oversight ensures it continues to be a sustainable and viable fishery in the future.

Recommended Action:

Written testimony in support of the proposed rules packages can be submitted from now until December 19, 2012.

Testimony for the West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area rules package can be submitted via mail or email to the following addresses:

Mail:    Division of Aquatic Resources                      

74- 380B Kealakehe Pkwy.

Kailua-Kona, HI  96740

Email: darkona@hawaiiantel.net

Testimony for the Hawaii Administrative Rules for management of aquarium fish collecting on O’ahu can be submitted via mail or email to the following addresses:

Mail:    Division of Aquatic Resources                      

1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 330

Honolulu, HI  96813

Email: Alton.K.Miyasaka@hawaii.gov

Please forward a copy of your testimony to PIJAC:  info@pijac.org

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About the author

Reef To Rainforest
Reef To Rainforest

Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC is the publisher of award-winning magazines and books in the fields of aquarium keeping, aquatics, and marine science. It is the English-language publisher of CORAL and AMAZONAS Magazines and is based in Shelburne, Vermont, USA.

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