It is a lot to understand, at least for me, but worth reading. Pay particular attention to the definition of "aquatic" life in section 1. It pretty much rules out captive breeding. Keep in mind that at this point it is a non-binding resolution but it sets a dangerous precedent for future legislation.
It appears that the main goal of this bill is to support the tourism industry which is one of the top dollar generating industries for the state of Hawaii. Oddly enough, sport fishing is not included in this bill which can be equally damaging to fish populations, but might be regulated under another set of bills and brings in tourist bucks. Unfortunately, they do not cite specific species (like yellow tangs in some areas) that have been over-exploited by the reef aquarium industry in Hawaii nor do they cite specific studies that implicate the pet trade as the source of the negative impact on fish populations. In some ways I could see a bill like this one coming down the tracks as the popularity of reef-keeping has increased dramatically in the last few years. Hard to say what the effects of this bill will be to our future--take better care of your fish and step up captive breeding where feasible.....Jim Z.
From Bill Crook, one of the local fish collectors in Hawaii:
"Our fishery is very simple but very complex and to be clear, I am a diver on Oahu. I have very little connection to the Big Island. That is a totally different fishery.
The simple parts: Aquarium fish reproduce very quickly and with high volume compared to most other fisheries. There are lots of fish on the reefs. The fishery on Oahu is thriving. There really is no problem on Oahu, just some radicals trying to "save something". So there is no real problem...
The complex parts:
Complexities like slow reproductive years for some fish, then a few years later reproductive rates off the charts. The devastation of the habitats from urban runoff, military/commercial (tankers etc.) destruction, and of course hurricane damage. These issues appear to be straight forward but it is not something that can be documented very easily. And if there is no documentation then, legally it never happened.
People that are not directly diving the reefs on Oahu all the time can probably never fully understand what is really going on. It would be like me telling you what you "should be doing" at your job and how you "should be doing it". (I can only imagine how many times Ret is smirking to himself with my journalism skills). haaaaaa
The politicians (for the most part) do not know anything about an aquarium. Most probably couldn't pick a moorish idol out in a lineup. But we have to explain to these politicians what we do, and how we are not evil people ruining our ocean. While the Snorkel Bob's of the world can come in and say whatever they want because the politicians don't know any better.
One of the most frustrating things for us over here fighting SB is when open threads have posts from hobbyists saying they should shut us down and all fish should be captive bred anyway. It is a real "stab in the back" feeling coming from the people that we are trying to supply. So I would like to say a great big THANK YOU to Ret for helping to explain to the world that we are not evil, reefs are not being destroyed, fish are being collected sustainably."
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