“It’s not that we’re against regulation,” one aquarium fisher told CORAL on condition of anonymity. “We just want fisheries management decisions to be made by fisheries managers whose job it is to understand and manage the fishery.”
Commercial fisherman Jay Lovell pled no contest last week to charges brought against him based on the most public altercation between aquarium fishers and anti-aquarium trade activists in years in Hawaii’s contentious aquarium fishery.
Bills 24 and 318 will be considered; Aquarium trade experts say the passage of either of these bills could devastate the aquarium fishery and trade in West Hawaii. Close to 70% of the statewide aquarium catch is landed in West Hawaii, making it the largest aquarium fishery in the State.
Five Hawaii aquarium-fishery related bills were heard in the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs yesterday, but decisions on all bills were deferred to today.
Anti-Aquarium activists in Hawaii are using a new tactic in 2015, alleging that the collection and handling of reef fishes for the aquarium trade amounts to “cruel treatment”—but does this stand up to facts gathered by marine scientists?