The aquarium fishing industry is at risk of elimination if Governor David Ige does not veto Hawaii Senate Bill 1240 before Monday, June 26. He is under intense pressure from animal activists to shutter the industry, so he needs to hear from you on his website, sample language is provided below.
Last week, the governor heard directly from scientists and fishermen on why SB 1240 is based on bad science and will hurt Hawaii. Now we need to let him know that we appreciate his time, and that we’ll have his back if he vetoes this bill.
The governor’s e-mail address isn’t working right now, so send your own comments through his website: https://governor.hawaii.gov/contact-us/contact-the-governor/
SB 1240 substitutes activist ideology for real science. Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources has conducted thousands of underwater surveys and asked the opinions of biologists – all of which have determined that aquarium fishing is a minimal factor on coral reef health. Additionally, fish populations have stabilized and even grown in recent decades thanks to aquarium fishermen using responsible fishing practices.
Let Governor Ige know that in some cases, aquarium fishing is the only available employment for his constituents. Additionally, SB 1240 risks the health of fishermen, since they won’t be able to hire enough people to maintain best safety practices.
In short: Hawaii’s fishery is sustainable, and is the most researched in the world. Animal rights activists know this, which is why they are relying on cherry-picked data and misleading claims.
PIJAC is urging everyone to tell the governor why the aquarium fishing industry is important to you. Below is a template you can use to craft your note – be sure to add a personal message for the governor!
HERE IS WHAT HAWAII SB 1240 WILL DO:
(2) Prohibit the department of land and natural resources from issuing new aquarium fish permits to use fine meshed traps or fine meshed nets other than throw nets to take aquatic life and from transferring or renewing existing permits except under certain conditions.
SECTION 3. The department of land and natural resources shall not issue any new aquarium fish permits to use fine meshed traps or fine meshed nets other than throw nets to take aquatic life pursuant to section 188-31, Hawaii Revised Statutes; provided that all existing permits:
(1) Shall not be transferrable to other persons; provided that permits may be transferred prior to July 1, 2022, if the permit is not deemed lapsed at the time of transfer; provided further that a permit is deemed lapsed if the permit has not been renewed for five or more years immediately preceding the time of transfer, including any duration prior to the effective date of this Act; and
(2) May continue to be renewed by the department of land and natural resources for current permit holders; provided that a permit shall be deemed lapsed and shall not be renewed if the permit has not been renewed for five or more years immediately preceding the time of application for renewal, including any duration prior to the effective date of this Act.
WHAT IT MEANS:
SB1240 sides with emotion, and directly opposes a huge amount of sound science! Hawaii will institute an indefinite ban on aquarium fishing permits. This amounts to a ban on all future aquarium fishing in the state of Hawaii and effectively puts a termination date on aquarium fishing in Hawaii. It would also mean that those fishermen that already hold a permit, unable to find a permitted dive partner, would have to unsafely dive alone.