West Hawaii Passes Bag Limits on Aquarium Fish

Forty species of fish may be taken for aquarium trade in Hawaii.

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

Yellow tang
Chevron tang
Goldring surgeonfish
Achilles tang
Tinker’s butterflyfish
Orangespine Unicornfish
Goldrim surgeonfish
Potter’s angelfish
Fourspot butterflyfish
Yellowtail Coris
Ornate Wrasse
Orangeband surgeonfish
Bird wrasse
Eyestripe Surgeonfish
Multiband butterflyfish
Saddle wrasse
Brown surgeonfish
Flame wrasse
Thompson’s surgeonfish
Peacock grouper
Bluestripe snapper
Redbarred hawkfish
Psychedelic wrasse
Hawaiian Whitespotted toby
Fisher’s angelfish
Hawaii Dascyllus
Milletseed butterflyfish
Blacklip butterflyfish
Pyramid butterflyfish
Shortnose wrasse
Black durgon
Spotted boxfish
Blackside hawkfish
Hawaii longfin anthias
Eightline wrasse
Fourline wrasse
Smalltail wrasse
Lei triggerfish
Gilded triggerfish

Article Categories:
Fish · Saltwater Fish