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Hawaiian Court Rules in Favor of Aquarium Fish Trade
By Joseph Tepper, September 7, 2016 @ 12:44 PM (EST)
Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser

A Hawaiian court has issued a ruling that many conservationists view as a huge win for the aquarium fish trade.

A local appeals court in Kailua-Kona ruled that more than 50 Hawaiian aquarium fish collectors wouldn’t be required to pass environmental assessments. The decision comes after a 2012 lawsuit filed by environmentalists alleging that the number of fish being collected bordered on excessive. The suit also asked for mandatory environmental assessments to evaluate why so many of the caught fish die during transport.

Judge Katherine G. Leonard wrote in her opinion that requiring environmental assessments for aquarium fish permit holders “would create an unreasonable, impractical and absurd result.”

These collectors are required to report their catches to Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. However, they are not upheld to the rigors of an environmental assessment, such as construction companies building structures on land.

“It’s obviously not working,” an environmental lawyer, Summer Kupau-Odo, said of regulations. “They’re obviously not utilizing all the tools they have to protect the environment.”

Kapau-Odo added that the environmentalists are likely to appeal to Hawaii’s Supreme Court. However, aquarium enthusiasts are pleased with the current outcome.

One such enthusiast, featured in an article by the Honolulu Star Advertiser, doesn’t see the point of further regulations. David Dart claims that the environmental cause is nothing more than a grudge: “They have a personal bias against keeping a fish as a pet.”





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