DLNR rules all aquarium fishing banned in Hawaii without environmental review – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-01-13 18:00:00 –

On Tuesday, the State Department of Natural Resources declared a collection of all banned aquariums in Hawaii unless the environmental review process was completed.

DLNR filed a proceeding on Tuesday after Judge Jeffrey Crabtree of the Environmental Court ruled in a proceeding dating back several years in favor of Plaintiff’s representative nonprofit, Earth Justice. Earthjustice invalidated this week as DLNR “improperly circumvented” the November 27 circuit court order and continued the commercial mariner’s license used to collect fish in the aquarium to existing licensees. I insisted that I did.

Crabtree confirmed that his previous ruling invalidated all commercial mariners that actually existed.

“The court has confirmed what community members and environmental advocates have been saying for a long time,” Kyrie Weger Cruz, a lawyer at Earth Justice, said in a news release. “Development of public marine resources for private gain cannot occur without first conducting an environmental review.”

At the end of last year, Judge Clubtree alleged that DLNR violated the law by allowing aquarium fishermen to continue extracting hundreds of thousands of marine animals from Hawaii’s coral reefs without the necessary environmental reviews. He then ruled in favor of Earth Justice in a proceeding against the state. I had a license and didn’t use an illegal fine mesh net.

The court ruled that an environmental review was required regardless of the gear used.

At the time, DLNR announced that it would not renew or issue a new commercial mariner license for aquarium fisheries without the necessary environmental reviews, but those with existing licenses will continue to avoid causing financial difficulties. Allowed that.

On Tuesday, DLNR revealed that even existing commercial mariners can no longer collect aquarium fish. DLNR said it has issued more than 3,000 commercial mariner licenses, 41 of which reported aquarium catches in 2020.

According to DLNR, the ruling does not affect other types of commercial fisheries or the capture of marine life.

“The collection of commercial aquariums has been controversial in Hawaii for many years,” DLNR Chairman Susanne Case said in a news release. “Various court orders over the years have narrowed the industry’s tolerance. DLNR is faithful to these orders and faithfully implements this ruling, which completely bans the industry without an approved EIS. It’s a schedule.”

However, Earth Justice said he had to return to court many times to make sure DLNR was following orders more than three years ago.

The latest ruling was made this week by Hawaiian indigenous cultural practitioners Willy Kaupiko, Kaimi Kaupiko, Mike Nakachi, For The Fishes, and Earth Justice, a non-profit organization representing the Biodiversity Center of Japan. Was issued after returning to court in a motion to enforce November 27. Judgment.

The ruling closes a loophole that existed in 2017 despite a groundbreaking ruling by the Supreme Court that permission to collect commercial aquariums should be subject to review requirements under the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act. Was there.

The DLNR at the time interpreted the ruling differently, allowing commercial aquarium fishing to continue in all areas except West Hawaii, unless illegal fine mesh nets were used, which is the primary tool for aquarium fishing. Did.

The court ruled that an environmental review is required regardless of the type of gear used by the licensee.

DLNR said the Department of Fisheries Resources is in the process of notifying all commercial and marine license holders of the court’s latest ruling.

“It doesn’t make sense to have to go back to court again and again to say the same thing, but I’m grateful that the judge once again supported the wording and intent of our environmental law. “I will,” said Milolii. In the statement I am Kaimi Kaupiko, a fisherman and educator. “Hopefully, this time the state will realize that Creana.” There are already loopholes. “

The plaintiffs in the proceedings were involved in an environmental review of aquarium permits in West Hawaii and Oahu, and played a key role in a series of aquarium poaching busts by state executives along the Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii last year.

Last year, the state’s Land and Natural Resources Commission rejected the final environmental impact statement submitted by a group of fishermen seeking permission to collect aquarium fish in West Hawaii. An environmental review of Oahu is still pending and a statement will be released by the end of the month.

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