Coral Reef Wildlife Trafficking for a Hobby
98% of all saltwater aquarium animals are wild caught.
Upwards of a million or more reef animals are captured annually on Hawaii's coral reefs
and shipped to the mainland U.S., Europe and Asia for sale in
the saltwater aquarium hobby. Mortality rates are astronomical. From the point of capture, up to 40 percent of Hawaii's Yellow Tangs will die before reaching the hobbyist.
January 2010: Over 600 fish, captured for the aquarium trade, found dead in a Big Island harbor dumpster.
In hobby tanks, most of the rest will
die within weeks or months from stress related disease; from cramped or failed environments; from improper food; and, generally because the vast majority of those attempting to keep them are too inexperienced. Though Yellow Tangs are extremely long lived in the wild, with an average age of 11 years on a protected reef, by some estimates, just a few percent of coral reef wildlife will survive over a year in captivity.
have shown that collecting Hawaii's most beautiful and unique species
for the aquarium hobby has caused their populations to decline by 14% -
97% on unprotected reefs.
Hawaii's fishes and critters have no protections from the trade though harvesting or harming coral and rock (!) in Hawaii has been illegal for decades,.
a $50 annual license and permit, commercial collectors have access to
every living animal on every reef in Hawaii that isn't protected -
virtually 99% of Hawaii's coral reefs are impacted by this industry.
join the grass-roots efforts of citizens concerned about
the harvesting, welfare and trafficking of Hawaii's coral reef animals
for the marine aquarium hobby.