Hawaii State Senator Seeks Ban on Tropical Fish Collection
by Tom Lang
Hawaii Senator Josh Green, M.D. (D-Kohala/Kona). a member of four powerful committees including Commerce and Consumer Protection as well Energy and Environment, says he will be introducing a bill in the Hawaii State Legislature to ban collection of all tropical fish in Hawaiian waters.
According to an Associated Press story, Sen. Green says the ban is needed because the numbers of fish around the Big Island and Maui have decreased. The story also quotes the Senator as saying it’s time to restore the Gold Coast – a reference to the formerly huge numbers of Yellow Tangs that populated the western coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, making the water appear “golden” at times due to their numbers.
I have to say, that when I visited Maui last year with my wife, we saw very few Yellow Tangs on the reefs around that island compared to our previous trips over the years. While I am not for an outright ban, the tropical fish industry needs to find out why there is such a decrease in numbers and work to put a stop to whatever is making tropical fish collecting a target for draconian action by our lawmakers.
This also reminds me that I’ll need to follow up on the progress of several Yellow Tang breeding programs that were quite the news just a few years ago. We have still yet to see any Aquarium Bred tangs at the fish wholesalers.
Photo credit: Oceanic Institute