The House Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs Committee of the Hawaii Legislature plans to debate and vote on three bills that directly target the aquarium trade. Animal rights activists have targeted the marine aquarium trade in Hawaii and think that they have a friendly enough legislature to push through their agenda. Many of these proposals start from an assumption that the fishing associated with the pet industry is hurting the local population of native species that is completely dis-proven by science.
Since the animal rights community has a long history of never letting facts or reason get in the way of an emotional argument, we need to make our voices heard. And we have little time as all comments need to be sent by 5 p.m. HST (10 p.m. EST) on Tuesday, Feb. 10th.
The proposed bills in question are:
- HB 606 - Establishes a 10-year moratorium on the taking of aquarium fish. This is the practical equivalent of outlawing the entire aquarium fishing industry.
- HB 873 - Prohibits the sale of aquatic life for aquarium purposes use "taken from any of the waters within the jurisdiction of the State". This bill is nearly identical to SB322 in the Senate.
- HB 883 - Mandates collection, shipping, and holding practices that would make it impossible to care for fish in a humane manner.
- "Cruel treatment" means:
i.Surfacing at a rate resulting in physical damage to the body tissue;
ii. Piercing or deflating the swim bladder;
iii. Cutting the fin or spine;
iv. Withholding food for more than twenty-four hours; or
v.Holding fish or aquatic life in less than one gallon of water, per each specimen, within any container.
Where things stand:
The House Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs Committee will debate and vote on these bills next Wednesday, the 11th of February. Any of these bills could devastate the aquarium trade in Hawaii. Two of them would immediately shut the entire industry down while the third would massively increase costs and fish mortality. We at PIJAC, in close cooperation with our local members, are helping to unify the voices against these proposals. It is essential that Hawaii's legislators understand the huge impact that these proposals could have on the local economy (a concern that means nothing to the animal rights zealots).
What should you do:
Use our Legislative Action Center and send a message to the members of the House Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs Committee. We need to speak with a unified voice and overwhelming numbers to counter the emotionally charged propaganda pushed by the animal rights activists. Take action before the deadline on February 10th--your voice and your opinions matter!
Contact your friends, family, coworkers, employees and anyone you do business with, and get them to weigh in on these bills before the 5 p.m. HST (10 p.m. EST) deadline on Tuesday, Feb. 10th.
Also, please watch for further communications from PIJAC, as we will be reaching out and asking for a rapid and overwhelming response should it appear that any of these proposals are gaining traction.
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