KEALAKEHE, Hawaii – The West Hawaii Civil Center was packed for another round of discussion on regulating aquarium fish collecting in Hawaii County.
A number of bills and presentations about the controversial fishery were on the agenda for the Hawaii County Council’s Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability Committee on Tuesday.
Returning from last year, Bill 318 creates new rules for the protection of marine life that is harvested with the intent to sell for aquarium use. Also, Bill 24, which would regulate the aquarium fishery by issuing mandatory licenses and reporting at the county level.
Puna Councilmember Greggor Ilagan requested a presentation on the sustainability of the fishery from Dr. Bill Walsh, an aquatic biologist for the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources.
Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille requested to hear from Teresa Telecky, the Director of Wildlife for the Humane Society International and Marine Biologist Dr. Katherine Muzik, the Director of Kulu Wai, a Kauai based environmental education and research foundation.
Wille quickly withdrew Bill 318, and after some discussion, she also withdrew bill 24.