Hawaii has been at the center of legislation that would ban aquarium collection. Last week, the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs approved a revised House Bill 873 which initially called for a ban on the industry that officials have said does around $2 million a year in business. The decision came after five and a half hours of testimony and more than 4,000 written submissions, said committee Chairman Rep. Kaniela Ing of Maui. The bill now heads to the House Judiciary Committee. Instead of a ban, HB 873 calls for those in the industry to maintain a less than 1 percent mortality rate for their catch, as well as other standards, Ing said.
Additionally, the committee approved HB 511, which prohibits the harassment of people doing marine fishing and aquarium fishing. But it isn’t all good news according to Robert Wintner, an executive director of the Snorkel Bob Foundation, a wildlife advocacy organization, and owner of Snorkel Bob, a fin and snorkel manufacturing company. He would like the industry banned outright and was one of the original proponents of the bill and the ban.
We have seen our fair share of different bills throughout the state government of Hawaii however, this was the closest to an outright ban that we have ever seen. If the bill was successful into becoming law it would have prohibited the taking of Tangs, mainly in the Yellow species (Zebrasoma flavescens) that mostly come from Hawaii and are shipped all over the world. Thankfully that did not happen and we might see the bill watered down more as different committee members view the bill.
Your move Snorkel Bob.
via [Maui News]