We’ve seen the argument for banning the commercial collection of reef fish for the aquarium trade hit a stride in the last few years. While legislative recourse to ban collection has simmered down for the moment, many organizations are still keeping the topic fresh. A recent poll sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States is showing two-thirds of Hawaiian residents oppose the commercial harvesting of fish from the state’s reefs.
Granted, the poll only included a small sample of 669 residents surveyed and 66 percent responded in favor of ending the trade in reef wildlife, the group said. Sixty-nine percent of residents of Hawaii island, where most of the collection occurs, support ending the practice, the poll found. Of course we would like to see collection maintained to support the hobby but realize there is plenty of misinformation behind the anti-aquarium fishery movement.
As hobbyists we encourage well managed, data-driven sustainable fisheries and do see the need for ethical and operations with oversight to ensure sustainable collection techniques are used. We welcome debate and encourage studying how fisheries can continue to bring fish and invertebrates into the trade but also how to study, preserve and create a thriving and sustainable reef environment.
[Image, story via Honolulu Star-Advertiser]