A Sustainable Fishery

Hawaii's aquarium fish are a valuable natural resource. According to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, the aquarium fishery is currently the most commercially important near-shore fishery in the state, generating more income than akule, lobster, or even bottomfish. As fishermen, we depend upon the ocean for our livelihood, and work hard every day to conserve our resources for the future.

Although Hawaii provides only a small percentage of the world's aquarium fish, we are renowned for our sustainable, humane, and environmentally friendly fishing methods. Unlike some parts of the world, hawaiian fishermen use only fine mesh nets to capture fish. This method does not damage coral, does not leave rubbish in the ocean, and allows us to release any unwanted fish unharmed. Our careful collection, holding and shipping techniques ensure that our fish arrive healthy. Mortality in transit is typically negligible.

Because fish suitable for aquariums are small, abundant and reproduce quickly, the aquarium fishery in Hawaii has proven to be sustainable. Research conducted since 1997 by the DLNR has shown that the most popular aquarium fish have not declined in numbers over the past 10 years. The same studies have shown that our fishery does not harm coral or otherwise affect the health of the reef.



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