The health, beauty and biodiversity of Hawaii's coral reefs have been significantly degraded and threatened by wildlife trafficking for the aquarium pet trade. Populations of Hawaii's most beautiful, iconic and important fish are in drastic decline from decades of unrestricted take and lax enforcement of basic laws.
Extremely high mortality rates result from ill treatment in the supply chain – from reef to retail – and the artificial and inadequate environments and care provided in personal aquariums. Nearly all marine life taken for aquariums dies within weeks or months of capture, though their natural lifespans are measured in years or even decades, as is the case with Hawaii's yellow tang, which can live to be over 40 years old in the wild.
These needless deaths drive orders within the trade and hobby for "replacement fish" in a never-ending cycle of disregard for the lives of these small, yet incredibly beautiful and important, marine animals.
Please show your support for ending marine life trafficking for aquariums.
Dear Governor Ige,
We support strong protections from the aquarium trade for Hawaii's reefs and sea creatures. In 2011 Hawaii County Council, Kauai County Council and Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa began urging the state to ban the aquarium trade, but, to date, the state has taken no meaningful action.
Since then, West Hawaii has been exposed as the world's third largest source of reef fish for U.S. household aquariums. Degraded reefs have resulted, despite West Hawaii's large no-take areas. Fish populations and coral cover are down while algae cover is growing.
Hawaii's reefs and wildlife are crying out for immediate protection. We request your leadership in efforts to respect, restore and protect these animals and special places.