Groups vow to continue efforts to protect Hawaii’s coral reefs despite SB 1240 veto

Courtesy of The Humane Society of the United States


In a disappointing outcome for a widely supported bill, Hawaii Governor David Ige vetoed legislation that would have protected Hawaii’s threatened reefs by limiting the capture of reef wildlife for personal aquariums. The bill, SB 1240, had passed the state legislature as a compromise measure with strong support from lawmakers as well as Hawaii residents and wildlife protection groups, including The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and For the Fishes.

“This is a disappointing outcome for a bill that would have gone a long way toward restoring Hawaii’s vital coral reefs and protecting its wildlife from largely unrestricted capture for the aquarium trade,” said Keith Dane, Hawaii policy advisor for The Humane Society of the United States.

According to Dane, the veto means that the destructive capture of wildlife for the aquarium trade will be allowed to continue, unrestricted. “We won’t stand by and watch Hawaii’s precious coral reefs dwindle for a damaging trade that benefits a few,” he said. “We vow to continue to work with all stakeholders including Governor Ige and the Department of Land and Natural Resource to find a solution.”