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September 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 44, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Hawaii Fish Collectors: In a Fine Mesh

from the September, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Rene Umberger, founder and executive director of For the Fishes, has written for and been quoted in Undercurrent about her quest to stop the commercial aquarium industry from scooping up Hawaii's reef fish and decimating their numbers. At last, she can make the victory sign.

After teaming up with other advocates, Umberger is slowing down the rate of reef fish collection after the Hawaii Supreme Court agreed with their claim that the impact of the aquarium trade was not being properly documented.

Despite fine mesh nets now being outlawed, Umberger believes some reef fish collectors continue to use them to supply the mainland aquarium trade . However, according to The News Tribune, the number of Hawaii reef fish caught by those with commercial marine licenses has dropped by about 80 percent since a State court ruling last year that stopped the use of fine mesh nets.

For example, Randy Fernley, owner of Coral Fish Hawaii, which sells fish and aquariums on Oahu, says sales are down 50 percent, and catches have been more difficult without the use of fine mesh nets.

Well done, Rene . We're with you all the way . Let's leave the fish in the ocean where they belong.

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