Hawaiian tropical fish collectors have proposed limits to the number of marine species taken off Oahu for the aquarium trade, according to a report on KITV.com. The proposal came from the ranks of the collectors in an effort to tighten regulations already in place.
“We believe it’s time to protect the resource, take the extra step,” marine fish collector Bobby Goodwin told KITV.
The proposal calls for larger nets to be outlawed, and the bag limit determined by the species. A limit of 100 fish a day for the yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens), and 10 a day for the Achilles tang (Acanthurus achilles) have been proposed. The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources is expected hold hearings on the proposed limits and make a ruling on the limits based on species in the future. There has been conflict between marine fish collectors in Hawaii and the local fisherman, with fisherman claiming that the marine fish collectors are not regulated by the state, or regulation is not enforced.
Some marine fish collectors, such as Goodwin, believe that the proposals submitted to the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources, if implemented, will help to tighten up the industry and reduce potential waste. According to the Hawaii Tropical Saltwater Aquarium Fish Sustainability Report, a report put out by marine fish collectors in Hawaii, there are currently 94 divers in the entire state of Hawaii who collect fish for the aquarium fish trade, 34 on the Big Island in Kona, 51 on Oahu and nine on Maui. Most have other jobs or dive part time.