Yellow tang are one of the most noticeable fish on the reef, in part because of their bright color, and in part because of their prolific numbers. These fish are also very popular in the aquarium trade, but because they can’t be bred in captivity, all aquarium yellow tang are collected from the wild.
Aquarium fish collection is regulated by Hawaii’s Department of Land and Resources, but conservationists have taken the department to court claiming it doesn’t follow Hawaii’s environmental laws. The DNLR restricts areas where fish can be collected and issues permits allowing the capture of 2,000 fish per permit. However there’s no restriction on how many permits can be issued, or where the permit will be used or what fish are intended to be taken.
Last week, a court voided all the permits and basically told DNLR to start over with its rules for fish collection. Expect this case to run and run.
Posted in response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge ‘Prolific.’