The Hawaii state Board of Land and Natural Resources has passed a new law limiting the take of certain reef fish on the Big Island of Hawaii, specifically West Hawaii, for the aquarium trade to 40 species, and has imposed bag limits on three of those species. The law came after six hours of testimony from those on both sides of the issue and the final vote was in favor 4-2.
Scuba spear fishing has also been banned in west Hawaiian waters as well as a result of the new laws. The 40 species limit creates less work for the agencies who oversee the taking of fish in Hawaiian waters, according to the department.
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When enacted, the new law will prohibit the take of more than five yellow tangs larger than 4.5 inches in total length or the possession of more than 5 yellow tangs smaller than two inches in total length. The goldring surgeonfish limit is five fish per person per day with a size limit greater than 4 inches. The Achilles tang is limited to 10 fish per person per day.
The following list represents the fish species that may still be taken for the aquarium trade in Hawaii. Bag limits do apply to three species on the white list. Fish not on the list are protected.
The West Hawaii White List
Hawaiian Whitespotted toby
Hawaii longfin anthias