The State Department of Land and Natural Resources announced an indefinite ban on ornamental fishing in West Hawaii. The Hawaii Supreme Court ruling went into effect in January prohibiting the use of fine mesh nets and halting issuance of any new permits for the sport.
Despite 20 years of studies strongly indicating sustainable aquarium fishing in West Hawaii, and despite 35% of its Leeward reef areas being protected for conservation, a pole from the Hawaii Humane Society claims 90% of state residents favor legislation, and 83% would like to see a permanent ban on commercial aquarium fishing.
I don’t think you can combine 17 years of studies and 20 years of conservation and chalk it up to pseudoscience. But I think original legislature passed for commercial aquarium fishing was loosely written and wasn’t strongly enforced.
Environmentalists and their supporters may find a compromise if government legislation will write concise laws with harsher consequences and better enforcement.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE INDUSTRY?
In our professional opinion, you can expect to see the price of smaller aquarium fish increase over time. For Example, over the course of a year, our wholesale price for a Yellow Tang has increased 166%.
Smaller aquarium fish will be more limited in the United States; however, there are still plenty of international ordering options. You may also see an increased availability in larger aquarium fish.
It’s important to note the ban is for commercial fishing permit. It could be a good excuse for a trip to Hawaii. 🙂
At Parrott Aquatic, we only purchase from vendors with sustainable resources. You can trust we will always provide #TheHighestQuality