On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Crabtree ruled that all commercial aquarium fishing is banned in the State of Hawaiʻi. The ban will be in effect until the aquarium fishing industry has completed the Chapter 343 environmental review process.
The ruling was made in response to a request by aquarium fishing opponents according to a press release from The Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The ruling states that anyone who takes marine life for commercial purposes must have a commercial marine license (CML) issued by the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR). This requirement applies to all kinds of take of aquatic resources, including commercial aquarium collection.
The Court’s ruling explains that none of the current CMLs may be used for commercial aquarium collection. It also does not affect other types of commercial fishing or taking of marine life.
DAR is in the process of notifying CML holders about the Court’s ruling.