WAILUKU » A Maui County Council committee has approved a bill by Councilman Wayne Nishiki to set up an application and permit system to regulate the aquarium fish trade.
The Public Services Committee on Wednesday also passed a companion measure by Councilman Mike Molina to require more humane treatment of aquarium fish and other aquatic life. The bills now go to the full Council.
Nishiki and Molina say the measures are needed in the face of a 60 percent decline in Maui’s reef fish over the past two decades.
Molina says the natural resources that attract people to visit Hawaii need to be protected.
Reef fish industry officials and home aquarium hobbyists oppose the bills, saying they are overreaching, misinformed and unconstitutional.