PIJAC Alert: Hawaii SB2003 to End Aquarium Fishery
25 Jan, 2018
Hawaii’s battered fishermen who target live fish for the aquarium trade may all be heading to Pu’uhonua—the Place of Refuge—given yet another fresh round of legislation designed to sunset the aquarium fishery.
We Need Your Help in Hawaii TODAY! Tell the Hawaii Senate Water and Land Committee NO on SB2003
What Hawaii SB2003 Says:
- It shall be unlawful to take, for commercial purpose, any marine or freshwater non-game fish and other aquatic life by any method of catch, including by use of fine meshed traps, fine meshed nets, or throw nets, without possessing a valid, non-lapsed aquarium fish permit and commercial marine license; provided that the taking is not otherwise prohibited by law.
- Beginning on July 1, 2018, the department of land and natural resources shall not issue aquarium fish permits for the taking of marine or freshwater nongame fish and other aquatic life for aquarium purposes.
- The department of land and natural resources shall renew an existing aquarium fish permit, if the permit has not lapsed at the time of the renewal.
- The department of land and natural resources shall transfer an existing aquarium fish permit prior to July 1, 2023, if the permit has not lapsed at the time of the transfer.
- Except as prohibited by law, non-lapsed permits shall be renewed by or transferred to only commercial marine licensees, as defined in section 187A-1, who can satisfy the department that they possess facilities to and can maintain fish and other aquatic life alive and in reasonable health and do not engage in animal cruelty practices that violate section 711-1109.
Click Here to Take Action Now
What it Means
SB2003 sides with emotion, and directly opposes a huge amount of sound science! Hawaii will institute an indefinite ban on aquarium fishing permits. This amounts to a ban on all future aquarium fishing in the state of Hawaii and effectively puts a termination date on aquarium fishing in Hawaii. In fact, given that current licenses have been declared void until HEPA requirements imposed by the Hawaii Supreme Court decision are met, it could be interpreted to mean that all aquarium fishing would be banned immediately.
It would also mean that those fishermen that already hold a permit, unable to find a permitted dive partner, would have to unsafely dive alone.
What You Can Do
Click here to submit a letter to Hawaii’s Senate Water & Land Committee immediately.
Contact everyone you know in Hawaii or in the pet trade and ask them to submit a letter as well.
Update: 1/25/18, 3:00 PM EST: A hearing on SB2003 is scheduled for 2:45 PM Hawaii Time (7:45 PM ET) tomorrow, 1/26/18, and it’s imperative that commentary is heard today, as well as tomorrow.
Editor’s Note: From the text of SB2003:
“The legislature further finds that, as a precautionary principle and since saltwater fish and other aquatic life are not caught for food purposes, it is in the best interest of the fish and other aquatic life, as well as of the reefs they inhabit, that they remain in their natural environment, not confined in personal aquarium tanks. Therefore, the legislature concludes that commercial fishing for aquarium fish in Hawai‘i should be phased out.”
You can read the full text of SB2003 here.
About the author
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 Magazine and is based in Shelburne, Vermont, USA.