A look at the aquarium industry in Hawaii
“Over 5000 known species of marine plants and animals find their homes in Hawaii's coastal reefs, 25% of which are found nowhere else in the world” (HCRI, 2012). Yet the aquarium industry is taking an alarming number of these fish yearly to support private profit (EJ, 2012).
All coral reef ecosystems are complex and very unique. Most of the fish taken for the aquarium industry in Hawaii are predominantly herbivorous, reef dwellers. These fish help control the growth of algae with can kill off corals if not kept under control. Research has shown that altering the biodiversity (numbers and types of fish) of coral reefs can lower the reef ecosystem’s ability to respond to disturbances and pressures such as global climate change (EJ, 2012).
In efforts to help conserve dwindling reef health, Earth Justice, has filed a complaint under the Hawaiʻi Environmental Policy Act in the First Circuit Court asking the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources to protect Hawaiʻi’s reefs and coastal areas from unlimited collection of fish and other wildlife for the aquarium trade. According to Earthjustice, “DLNR has not conducted any studies showing how its policy of handing out permits for the asking will affect Hawaiʻi’s reefs over time”, (EJ, 2012)
You can read more about the complaint filed and more about coral reefs here:
Students: please note our holiday hours here . As a result next week's blog post may not occur. See you all next year!! Don't forget you can research coral reef ecosystems, biodiversity and Hawaii at our searchwise link here. Happy holidays.
Earth Justice (EJ), 2012. Online. http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2012/citizens-and-conservation-groups-file-suit-to-protect-hawai-i-s-reef-ecosystems
HCRI (Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative), 2012 online. http://www.hcri.ssri.hawaii.edu/about/about.html
Image credit: Brooke Everett. http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2012/citizens-and-conservation-groups-file-suit-to-protect-hawai-i-s-reef-ecosystems