Export Ban on Hawaii Collected Fish

It has been known for a while that Hawaii has been active in regulations involving marine aquarium fish. It wasn't long ago when the state placed a ban on recreational collection of aquarium fish for personal use. This would usually require a permit but the Hawaii's First Circuit Court made a ruling that made these permits invalid.


Now, after a case of illegal collections for the aquarium trade, the State has put into motion a ban on all aquarium fish exports from the state. At first there was a long processes and requirements for the collection of reef fish for the aquarium trade. But now a Circuit Court judge has ruled in favor of the ban which would make access to some Hawaiian native species difficult for aquarists around the world.


Because of this ban, there is now a high demand and lack of inventory in many local aquarium stores for these fish such as yellow tangs (Zebrasoma flavescens) and different species of wrasses. This also puts more pressure and demand on aquaculturists to provide captive bred fish to the market. This would also increase the price of the fish. Companies such as Biota and research laboratories such as the University of Florida Tropical Aquaculture Lab have been successful in culturing species such as the yellow tang.


As of right now the ban is indefinite. One of the driving factors is the protection of Hawaii's coral reefs as many reefs around the world are struggling amidst increasing temperatures, pollution and illegal fishing.


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