DLNR Responds to Circuit Court Ruling on Aquarium Fishing Permits

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources issued a statement on Friday, Oct. 28, in response to a Circuit Court ruling on aquarium fishing permits.

Yellow tang, one of the Hawaiian reef inhabitants most sought by aquarium fish collectors, will get greater protections under rules signed by the governor. Wikimedia Commons photo.

Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Crabtree ruled on Friday that, based upon a Hawaiʻi Supreme Court opinion issued on Sept. 6, 2017, existing permits for use of fine mesh nets to catch aquatic life for aquarium purposes are illegal and invalid. Judge Crabtree also ordered the DLNR not to issue any new permits pending environmental review.

In its statement on Friday, officials with the DLNR said the department continues to believe that existing aquarium fishing practices are sustainable and environmentally sound.

The department also expressed appreciation for local businesses and families that depend on the industry for their livelihoods, but said it respects Judge Crabtree’s ruling and will fully comply so long as it remains in effect.

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