Posted on May 14, 2013 By Ret Talbot, CORAL Magazine Senior Editor Today the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society launched Operation Reef Defense, a campaign spearheaded by Sea Shepherd Vice-President Robert Wintner to shut down marine aquarium fisheries. In the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Coral Magazine, I wrote an article called “Postcards from Hawaii” in which I looked at the past, present and future of Hawaii’s marine aquarium fisheries. In researching the article, I sat down with a lot of people, including Wintner. The Sea Shepherd website had recently published his essay entitled “The Dark Hobby; Can We Stop the Devastating Impact of Home Aquaria on Reefs Worldwide?” on its website, and this single action, especially given the popularity of Sea Shepherd’s “Whale Wars” television series with aquarists, made Wintner a household name with many on the mainland. I wrote: When the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd Society published his essay…it was greeted with perfunctory expletives by many in the Hawaiian Islands familiar with his crusade. More than a few concerned aquarists, on the other hand, wanted to know if Wintner’s claim that the aquarium trade aggressively and irresponsibly overharvests fish in Hawaii was factual. More than one asked questions in this vein: “If the trade isn’t sustainable in Hawaii, how can it be sustainable in developing island nations where oversight and regulation is not what it is in the U.S.?” My interview with Wintner was enlightening. Through it, I came to realize that MORE: Sea Shepherd Launches Anti-Aquarium Trade Campaign in Hawaii

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