Protect our reef fish

I am a local gal born and raised (fourth generation), in Kona, Hawaii. My dad was a rancher and had keys to many of the most desolate beaches where I would spend my days snorkeling. From the Kailua-Kona pier as far as Milolili, there were thousands of beautiful reef fish, too many to count.

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I am a local gal born and raised (fourth generation), in Kona, Hawaii. My dad was a rancher and had keys to many of the most desolate beaches where I would spend my days snorkeling. From the Kailua-Kona pier as far as Milolili, there were thousands of beautiful reef fish, too many to count.

Yellow tangs, butterfly fish, and numerous ono fish my family speared, we sat around the fire and ate an ono meal, never taking more than what we would eat for the time that we were there. Now, I never see these beautiful fish, rarely do we catch lobsters, or other fish to grill. I personally know people who do aquarium extraction for a living, since this is how they put food on the table. Now with high tech equipment, in a fraction of the time, they can use vacuum hoses to just suction the fish right out of the reef, puncture their sacks (makes them supposedly live longer for transport).

Horrible, just think of someone taking your entire family away? It’s big business I know, people need to make a living, but do we need them to come to Hawaii, our home, taking our fish from our ocean? Now, with so much at stake, can we just agree that we can save something, instead of having them taken for greed and sale? Please, we are the only ones who can stop this.

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I want my grandchildren, and the next generation to have an opportunity to see them thrive, and to be left alone, to breed and populate. Not taken like prisoners, most that die in transport, just so that someone with money will throw them in a tank for their selfish pleasure. Hawaii knows better than to lose any more of our precious sea life, and other monuments, and other species. Support SB1240, HD1.

Leilani Pacheco-Datta is a resident of Kailua-Kona.