Call For Support from Hawaiian Fisherman and Marine Fish Wholesaler
10 Jun, 2020
Ron Tubbs collecting Tinker’s Butterflyfish, utilizing a rebreather to reach these deepwater fishes on the Hawaiian reefs, in 2015. Fine mesh nets such as these are not currently permitted as part of the ongoing debate over the marine aquarium fishery in Hawaii. Image courtesy RT Distributors.
The Time to Step Up is NOW
By Ron Tubbs, RT Distributors Inc.
The fishers in Hawaii and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) are desperately fighting to preserve and fully reopen the aquarium fishery in Oahu and reopen the aquarium fishery in West Hawaii. On May 30th the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) issued a written rejection of the Hawaii Aquarium Fishing Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for West Hawaii, disregarding over two years of research, thousands of pages of analysis, and multiple scientific peer reviews analyzing the aquarium fishery. PIJAC and Hawaii fishers are appealing that decision.
The BLNR’s decision will significantly harm the Hawaii fishers whose livelihoods depend on this fishery, and will likewise have serious implications for other commercial fisheries in Hawaii —including in Oahu, where the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is currently open for public comment.
The livelihoods of a vast population of business owners large and small, and the businesses and hobbyists that depend on them, are on the precipice of extinction. Unless you want to see the Hawaii aquarium fishery closed for good, you need to take action!
Show your support of the fishery by providing public comment in support of the Oahu EIS and donate to the PIJAC Aquatic Fund.
The fishers need your comments in support, and PIJAC cannot carry on this fight without the funding to do so. The numerous lengthy and costly legal battles and legislative fights, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, are rapidly depleting the Aquatics Defense Fund (pijac.org/aquatic). The assault is continuous—Earth Justice has now brought a case seeking to revoke the Commercial Fishing Licenses in a way that will apply to ALL fisheries in Hawaii.
Your support is critical. Failure to act WILL mean the end of the Hawaii aquarium fishery.
Support the PIJAC Aquatic Defense Fund
Ron Tubbs B.S. N.D. N.C. spent 8 years at the University of Hawaii with a degree in nutrition and studies in marine biology, ecology, microbiology, and biochemistry. R.T. Distributors was founded in 1982 and has been a diver direct business collecting and distributing marine fish to the aquarium trade for over 38 years.
Editor’s Note: The deadline for public comments regarding the Oahu EIS is officially June 22nd, 2020. However, as evidenced by recent events, where the BLNR came to a decision on West Hawaii several days before the public commentary period closed, we encourage that readers do not delay or procrastinate in submitting their commentary regarding the Oahu EIS.
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.