According to the Humane Society of the United States, 90% of residents polled supported legislation that would cap permits required to capture reef life in Hawaii. The Department of Land and Natural Resources believes limited permits and even a “no-take” policy is necessary to maintain healthy reefs. Hawaii is the third largest supplier of reef wildlife to the United States. Conservation organizations link the deteriorating health of Hawaii’s reefs to the capturing of fish for the aquarium trade. Yellow tangs are some of the most commonly caught and traded fish. Herbivores such as surgeonfish (tangs) keep algae from overgrowing on the corals and help maintain a healthy reef. The removal of herbivores on a large scale allows for algae to cover the coral. It appears that the majority of residents are pushing the Governor of Hawaii to sign the legislation.
Surgeonfish and Kole account for 93% of all fish in Hawaii that are captured and sold in the aquarium trade