Petition Closed

Hawaii is the 3rd largest supplier of reef wildlife for U.S. saltwater aquariums. Every year millions of reef animals are collected on Hawaii reefs and shipped out for sale in the aquarium hobby.

Letter to
Phone: 808-586-0034 Fax: 808-586-0006 Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie & Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
Hawaii's reefs cannot support this exploitation or the massive extraction from collected reefs compared to protected reefs. Heavily targeted species average 90% less abundance on Oahu's reefs and 73% less abundance on the Big Island. Some species taken by the trade are nearly gone, while others are threatened with extinction.

Many of the collected animals are endemic to Hawaii (found nowhere else on Earth). All species collected are vital to reef balance. Driving the collection rates are the premature mortalies occuring in the journey from reef to retail and in the first month of hobbyist care, where wildlife is killed off from hobbyist mistakes, inappropriate tankmates, starvation, and so on.
For every fish that dies enroute or in a hobby tank, many more are taken from reefs to fill the demand. This explains why 700,000 U.S. aquarium hobbyists consume over eleven million wild caught fish and ten million wild caught hermit crabs, shrimps and other invertebrates taken from the worlds coral reefs every year.

Yellow Tangs were once ubiquitous on Hawaii's reefs, schooling and feeding in shallow water where they were seen by people passing along shorelines and roadways without ever donning a mask and snorkel. Other disappearing species taken by the trade are favorite local food fish, like the Achilles Tang.
The aquarium trade operates in Hawaii without basic management like limited permits, limited take or minimum sizes. The state has no money for enforcement - only monitoring. Aquarium collecting permits to use otherwise illegal nets and take undersize/premature wildlife in limitless numbers are just $50 a year and give access to 98% of the state's reefs.

Government entities on three islands and an overwhelming majority of Hawaii residents now want the aquarium trade banned.

Please speak out: ban the tropical fish collecting business in Hawaii. Help protect Hawaii's coral reefs for the future!