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Author: Created: 10/17/2011 1:17 PM RssIcon
This blog is the destination for important marine aquarium industry/trade news and MASNA-specific news. If you are an aquarist, the news in this blog is relevant to you. The blog is written by the MASNA Newsletter Editor and is a vehicle to disseminate newsworthy stories while they are still current (rather than waiting for the next newsletter). Ideas and tips for stories should be directed to
By Ret Talbot on 2/16/2012 2:37 PM
Today a state legislator in Hawaii told me in an off-the-record discussion that it would require "the legislative equivalent of a Hail Mary pass" for any of the aquarium-related bills currently in the Hawaii State Legislature to move forward.

The reasons why 13 of the 14 aquarium-related bills are "stalled" and "dead for now" are complex and firmly rooted in the procedural intricacies of the Hawaiian legislative process. I'll get into some of the details in a piece I have publishing tonight in CORAL Magazine's eNewsletter, but suffice it to say a deadline came and went last night with no action taken to keep these bills active. While there are procedural options still open to legislators who want to revive one or more of the aquarium-related bills, it is, in the words of a procedural expert I interviewed in the House today, "very unlikely."

The expired deadline that has caused...
By Ret Talbot on 2/15/2012 1:27 PM
West Hawaii Reef Fish CatchThe marine aquarium fishery in Hawaii is but one of many fisheries. While it is a significant fishery, it is by no means the largest, nor does it have the greatest impact. Nonetheless, anti-aquarium fishery activists target only the aquarium fishery and blame it for reef devastation. The facts, as you will see on, do not support their position. Based on the data, MASNA supports all well-managed sustainable fisheries, including recreational fisheries, commercial food fisheries and aquarium fisheries. 

See the facts at

Data presented in the graphic published here is courtesy of Hawaii Department of...
By Ret Talbot on 1/29/2012 12:05 PM

Of the 11 new aquarium-related measures introduced to the State of Hawai‘i’s twenty-sixth legislative session, more than half originated as a direct result of a vote in Kaua‘i about which there are major concerns.

By Ret Talbot on 12/27/2011 5:23 PM

There are several labels you may see at your local fish store in the coming days, weeks and months that will give you, the aquarist, an opportunity to use your purchasing power to support a more sustainable marine aquarium trade. 

By Ret Talbot on 11/21/2011 3:19 PM

The second of five counties in Hawai'i have now voted urging the state to ban the marine aquarium trade. Many close to the debate over the marine aquarium fishery contend the vote was influenced by misinformation and misused statistics that seek to frame an ethical debate as a resource issue. The local media's response appears uncritical and potentially makes it more difficult for multi-stakeholder groups to work toward collaborative solutions that can ensure sustainability. 

By Ret Talbot on 11/18/2011 6:40 PM

Last night (17 November 2011) a public meeting took place on O'ahu to discuss fisher-generated proposed regulations of the O'ahu marine aquarium fishery. MASNA board member Ret Talbot spoke with several of the key players following the meeting, and here is his report.

By Ret Talbot on 11/17/2011 7:59 AM

Ret Talbot, MASNA board member and senior editor at CORAL Magazine, has been reporting on the marine aquarium trade in Hawai'i for both MASNA and CORAL in an effort to give aquarists the information they need to make informed decisions about the future of the trade and hobby. In this most recent article, Ret looks at why the extreme elements of the anti-trade contingent have come out against increased regulations intended to better manage the aquarium fishery on O'ahu.

By Ret Talbot on 10/25/2011 5:54 PM

I had the chance to interview Dr. William Walsh last week while I was on the Big Island researching the passage of Resolution 130 for MASNA and CORAL Magazine. During our time together, Walsh shared a lot of data with me. In most cases, it was the same data he shared with the Hawai‘i County Council who recently voted in favor of a Resolution seeking a statewide ban on marine aquarium collection. The data doesn't appear to support the Resolution’s claim of “devastation,” at least not in a traditional fisheries management sense. This blog entry looks specifically at the most current data on one of the most talked-about species in West Hawai‘i—the yellow tang.

By Ret Talbot on 10/20/2011 8:01 PM

 In this entry, we look more closely at Resolution 130-11, which seeks to ban the marine aquarium trade in Hawai'i, and we consider why it is so many were surprised by its passage in the County Concil. 

By Ret Talbot on 10/19/2011 11:26 AM

A robust and sustaiable marine aquarium fishery in a place like West Hawai'i must be managed based on data, and this blog entry--inspired by time spent in the water yesterday with state aquatic biologists at a study site with data sets going back three decades--explains why.

By Ret Talbot on 10/18/2011 12:45 AM
The second entry in a series of blogs from MASNA's Newsletter Editor seeks to frame the debate over the State's marine aquarium fishery in the wake of the passage of Resolution 130 seeking to ban aquarium collection statewide. The first entry in this series can be seen here.
By Ret Talbot on 10/17/2011 1:20 PM
This is the first in a series of entries based on MASNA Newsletter Editor Ret Talbot's October 2011 trip to Hawai'i to investigate the passage of a County Council resolution seeking a statewide ban on the marine aqaurium trade. Ret will be blogging all week from Hawai'i and will be following up with a presentation at Reefapalooza on Sunday 23 October in Southern California and an article in CORAL Magazine. Talbot, who is a senior editor at CORAL, has been researching sustainable marine aquarium fisheries around the world for the Magazine over the past two years.
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Re: Resolution 130 – What’s It Really All About?
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Re: MASNA Investigates the Marine Aquarium Trade in Hawai'i and the Latest Resolution Seeking a Statewide Ban on All Aquarium Collection
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Re: The Hawaii Marine Aquarium Fishery Relative to Recreational and Commercial Reef Fisheries
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