HAWAIʻI SUPREME COURT DECISION STOPS WEST HAWAIʻI FISHING PERMITS PENDING AN ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW
News Release from DLNR, January 5, 2018
(Honolulu) - DLNR announced today that after applying a Hawai‘i Supreme Court ruling from last year to an existing DLNR rule, no aquatic life may be taken for commercial aquarium purposes off West Hawai‘i until an environmental review is completed.
The court ruled on September 6, 2017, that an environmental review must first occur before permits can be used to catch aquatic life for the commercial aquarium trade. Following that ruling, State Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey P. Crabtree terminated and canceled all fine mesh net permits. DLNR rules state that a Hawai‘i State Aquarium Permit is also required to take any aquatic life from waters off of West Hawai‘i for commercial aquarium purposes.
“Although the state permit referenced in the rules is not defined, the intent of the Supreme Court decision is clear,” said Bruce Anderson, Administrator of the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources.
“As a result of these court decisions it is clear that fine mesh nets cannot be used anywhere in Hawai‘i in the commercial aquarium trade until the environmental review process has been completed. Given the intent of the court ruling, any taking of aquarium fish or other animals for the commercial pet trade in West Hawai‘i is prohibited until the environmental review has been completed,” said Anderson.
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KGI: Ban on taking fish for aquariums now statewide
WHT: DLNR shuts down aquarium fishing in West Hawaii pending environmental review
Oct 2017: Judge Invalidates Aquarium Collectors Permits
Oct 2017: Karma: Supreme Court Aquarium Ruling may apply to Dive Tour Operators