Category Archives for "World Conservation Congress"

August 24, 2016

The Global Aquarium Trade is highly destructive.

Use of cyanide for capturing aquarium fish is common throughout the South Pacific

Help fund research that can help stop the destruction of marine ecosystems.

Aloha Coral Reef Advocates,

tropical-fish-underwaterOur work protecting coral reef wildlife begins in Hawaii and extends globally via our award winning mobile app, Tank Watch (now available for Android and Apple devices) and with our landmark research. Since 2015 we’ve been assessing the prevalence of cyanide-caught fish in the U.S. marine aquarium trade. The destructive practice of capturing fish with cyanide, though not used in Hawaii, is used widely in the Philippines and Indonesia, the largest exporters of marine life for aquariums. We’ve discovered that millions of marine fish – at least 50% – sold in U.S. pet stores are illegally captured with this deadly poison. We estimate that 30 million fish are exposed to cyanide in capture by the marine aquarium trade each year and that over 90% of those perish within 6 weeks of exposure. Cyanide use also kills countless invertebrates and thousands of acres of coral reefs each year.

We recently presented our initial findings at the prestigious International Coral Reef Symposium, and it was well received. As a result, we were invited to join a coral reef challenge grant and crowdfunding campaign offered by to help raise the funds necessary to complete this important research to help save coral reefs and wildlife.

To complete this project, we need $4,620 to test at least 50 more fish (both test subjects and controls). The funds will be used to purchase the fish and essential supplies and pay for sample analysis by an independent lab. This crowdfunding campaign to raise support for our research launched today: We are excited to share this project with you and will post progress reports on our project page. We expect to publish this fall and will thank all of our backers in our paper.

We’re reaching out to you now to ask for your support. If you can’t donate directly, could you please take a moment to share the project? Whether via social media posts or emails to any friends, family, or colleagues interested in science and coral reefs – we need your help in order to complete this groundbreaking work and take a giant step toward protecting the wildlife we all cherish.

If you have any additional questions about the research, or how this works, I’ll be happy to answer them. Thanks for supporting this science – the reprehensible use of cyanide in fish capture must end, and YOU can help make that happen.

Learn more about our project at Learn more about cyanide fishing in Poisoned Waters, a report we released with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Rene Umberger
Executive Director

First it was acidification. Now its dissolved oxygen

Climate change is causing a drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in oceans in some parts of the world. But what is so alarming – the effects of this drop in the amount of oxygen all marine life require will start to become evident in just 15 years or so. At some point, the drop in the ocean’s oxygen levels will leave marine life struggling to breathe.

This isn’t some incremental threat way off in the distance. We’re talking about an existential threat to marine life that is emerging literally right now.

We’re talking about, quite possibly, the beginning of the collapse of the web of life in our oceans.

The new study – which was published in the American Geophysical Union journal “Global Biogeochemical Cycles”, funded by NSF and led by NCAR scientists – should be a stark, clear warning of what the world is facing.

Current forecast: 400 parts/million this year and 450 within 20 years. Armageddon is coming and God is not going to fix it. We have the ability, but do we have the political will? Not if Trump and the oil companies have their way.

House Finance Committee Hearing on HB 2037

There is a hearing on Tuesday, March 1, at 3:00 p.m. in Conf. Room 308 before the House Finance Committee on HB 2037, appropriating an as yet unspecified amount of funds to DLNR to host the World Conservation Congress in Sept. 2016.  Please send in testimony in support making clear that any appropriation should ADD to DLNR’s existing budget not take away from programs.  Talking points include:


  • Please do NOT take away from DLNR’s regular program spending
  • The World Conservation Congress is the oldest and largest international conservation conference in the world. It is held every four years and this is the first time it has been held in the United States.  The Congress includes cutting edge research and debate over global conservation policy issues important to Hawaiʻi.  World conservation leaders from government, non-governmental organizations, and private business attend.  It is an extremely significant event for Hawaiʻi.
  • The World Conservation Congress, like APEC, will establish Hawaiʻi as a place where the world can do business.  The benefits to Hawaiʻi include:
    • Estimated $65M in economic benefits based on 8,000+ delegates, support and workforce participants, and media
    • Significant media exposure
    • Supports state goals regarding ecotourism, conservation leadership, and positioning Hawaii as a destination for high-level and global meetings
    • Positions Hawai‘i on international platform for world conservation issues to showcase Hawai‘i’s knowledge and experience regarding natural and cultural resource management and sustainability
    • Opportunity to gather input from global conservation community to address Hawai‘i’s challenges
    • Conservation education efforts, including leadership development at the East-West Center, conservation leadership certification at the University of Hawai‘i, K-14 Youth Leadership Initiatives
    • Opportunities for participation in the World Conservation Forum,  access to IUCN’s scientific credibility, extensive networking and exposure to high-level political, economic, and social decision making regarding conservation

The hearing notice can be viewed at:

The bill (HB2037) can be viewed at:

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