The Dark Hobby
In Hawaii, the reefs, turtles, whales and dolphins are protected. But everyone forgot the fish.
The Hawaiian Islands host many exotic fish species, and several now verge on extinction. Generational families and tourists agree, fish populations are a mere vestige, where only recently there were vast schools.
The Hawaii aquarium trade has been taking reef fish for U.S. and global hobby tanks for decades. With no catch limits, no limit on the number of catchers, and no constraints on rare, endemic or vanishing species, the aquarium trade is decimating Hawaii reefs. The reported annual aquarium extraction is about $2 million, though the actual catch includes poaching and is two-to-five times higher, according to Hawaii’s Division of Aquatic Resources.
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