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Yellow tangs discarded in a Kona dumpster.

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Mahalo for the outpouring of support from Hawaii reef lovers near & far. You have spoken, the people want change-the tide is turning!


SB 1240 to end aquarium trade permitting in Hawaii passed FINAL FLOOR VOTES in BOTH chambers,100% unanimous in the Senate and 36-14 in the House, with the “no” votes coming from the regular defenders of fishing, in any form, at any cost.


The measure now goes to Governor David Ige, Democrat, for signing into law. Give the Governor the support, encouragement and aloha he needs to rise above conflicted interests. Call Governor Ige at (808)586-0034 or email


The aquarium trade serves a dark hobby, confining coral reef wildlife and destroying reefs around the world.

Stripping reefs for an amusement industry is theoretically no different than capturing cetaceans for commercial shows. 98% of aquarium fish are wild caught. Many people may not reflect on the colorful fish in glass tanks used as furnishings for offices, bistros, waiting rooms, or homes—and some people may assume those fish are bred in captivity. The fact is that 2% of those fish are captive-bred and 98% are taken from the wild.  read more

KONA, HAWAII– Violence erupted when an aquarium collector rushed another diver for filming him as he captured coral reef species. The aquarium trade is under pressure in Hawaii, taking 98% of its stock from the wild, including iconic endemic species that leave Hawaii reefs by the millions each year.

He ripped away her breathing device, fifty feet down.

Wildlife officers said aquarium collector Jay Lovell will be charged with reckless endangerment, along with Lovell’s complaint for harassment.

Below: see complete attack video. Note: attacker holding on tightly to his precious catch of  yellow tangs as he approaches for attack.

The diver, a PADI certified dive instructor with 10,000 scuba dives in Hawaii, is an aquarium-ban activist. She said, “I was careful to stay clear of his working area, about 30 feet away. He saw me and snapped, darting full speed. The video shows his face as he attacked me. He hit my nose and ripped my regulator from my mouth, leaving me 50 feet down with no air. With any less training or experience I would have drowned.”

It was a holo holo outing to document Kona reef conditions. Participants included dedicated individuals and organizations from For The Fishes, The Snorkel Bob Foundation, Ocean Pursuits, and The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Robert Wintner aka Snorkel Bob said, “I went to take pictures of fish. It’s what I do. The attack was a violent reaction to a reef visitor with a camera. How many places sell or rent cameras to divers and snorkelers? The reef at Keawaiki is designated OPEN. It’s part of Hawaii’s public trust and not a private reserve for aquarium collectors who demand that nobody watch them.”

Mike Long said, “We went to document effects of coastal pollution and the aquarium trade on reef species and habitat along the Kona Coast, and we did. Mr. Lovell’s complaint may have been predictable, but the video of this attack reveals a far darker side of the situation.”


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