The people who actually catch these fish are subsistence workers. They do what they know how to do in order to survive - and they just barely get by.
They're like the farmers in Mozambique who clear a patch of rainforest for fuel, farm the land until it erodes away, and then clear another patch of rainforest.....or the wood harvesters in Central/South America who clear cut a whole forest for the few dozen trees of economic value.
This is a problem and the only solution is education and investment.
The local people need to understand that their livelihood is a renewable resource that must be conserved. They need to be taught responsible methods of harvest so that those resources will still be there to support their children.
The buyers in the industrial world need to be educated too. I'll bet most aquarists have no idea where or how their pets were collected, and they should. They need to be willing to accept slightly higher prices in return for a stable, sustainable supply. The distributors need to reinvest some of their profits back into their industry so that the local collectors can move toward sustainable methods.
Wouldn't it be a shame if the govt had to get involved and restrict the SW
tropical fish trade? It's illegal to import many animal products into the US such as elephant ivory or products made from marine mammals. Unless things change, many SW
fish may eventually be added to that list