Your Views for September 19

Save the fish

For years, the public cries and complaints about commercial collections of reef fish have gone unheeded, but now coral bleaching is on the rise and incredibly a new alert is finally being raised from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources requesting no taking of herbivorous reef fish.


Why? Because the fish are an obvious health aid for reefs in trouble!

Hawaii is in the midst of an unprecedented environmental catastrophe: the third ocean heat wave in six years is already bleaching Hawaii’s corals. Ocean temperatures are expected to remain high for the next two to three months, which will lead to severe and widespread coral bleaching and mortality.

DLNR is urging the public to take actions to reduce human-caused stressors on Hawaii’s corals. Among them is a request to food fishers to stop taking herbivores such as parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. But that request falls flat while DLNR simultaneously defends the commercial aquarium trade in taking all the surgeonfishes they want, species that include yellow tangs, paku ikui (Achilles tang), kole (yellow eye kole), umaumalei (orangespine unicornfish) and others.

Hawaii is projected to experience severe annual coral bleaching as early as 2030, and to lose 70% of its current coral reefs by mid-century and 99% of it by 2100. Each animal taken by the aquarium trade plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the reef ecosystem.

Regardless of whether or not DLNR acts by taking the “eco-logical” step of completely banning the destructive aquarium trade, Big Island state Reps. Nicole Lowen, David Tarnas and Chris Todd are all in key positions to help, should they desire to do so. Please let them know you care and will support them in taking up the deferred Senate Bill 931, the five-year phase out of the aquarium trade, that shuts it down completely in 2024.

Yellow tangs can live in the wild for 40 years. Every one left on the reef today will help Hawaii for decades to come. The waste of shipping them off to the mainland to die in plastic bags or glass boxes must end now!

Gary Harrold


‘Just make believe’

So, Mr. James Borden (Your Views, Tribune-Herald, Sept. 14) wants every church congregation to come and protest at the Hilo Community Surgery Center.

That is well and good, but I think any church or similar religious sect that does this should immediately lose any and all tax benefits. And perhaps the government should arrest all church leaders because of the action of a few pedophile priests.

Perhaps Mr. Borden has a different view of what constitutes murder than I do, but to want to disrupt a legal medical facility should be a crime.

Maybe I’ll solicit the help of some of my friends and boycott his church on a Sunday morning. And, why not? If it’s good for one group, it should also be good for another.

So, let’s stop calling for action against any group, corporation or whatever else they don’t like because it’s against God’s idea of justice. After all, religion is just make believe!


Michael L. Last


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