Look forward to reading this. Personally, I do not think the source of the color is important whatever the khillazon was. Looking at the murex sea snail the actual pigment is chemically dibroindigo which can be found in a number of substances including indigo. And it all can produce a range of color from almost black to red, or purple to sky blue. ‘Farming’ murex snails might work, but is it necessary to deplete a certain species when it is actually the color that is important. I have tzitzit that are completely murex based blue—very expensive—as well as those with a sky blue shamash that is not so expensive but every Jew deserves to wear t’kheilet.
While mesora is an essential part of the way we determine practical halacha, it is not the only way. Furthermore, we are not to simply bemoan our losses and accept them but rather we are bidden to restore and repair anything we can – is this not what teshuva is all about, is this not what tikkun olam is all about. I have written on the issue of mesora, especially as it relates to the hillazon and tekhelet in the following article: http://www.divreinavon.com/pdf/HistoryMesorahNignaz.pdf
also available in my book on tekhelet: https://www.createspace.com/4597533
Yes. Ari showed me your pdf file on the subject. Here was my response to him (your words in quotes):
'Commenting on the this conflict, R.Tikochinsky explains: “Therefore it is understood
that only during the time of the Temple it was found in abundance, following which it
was nignaz, not that it was stored away completely, but that it was found less
But eventually it was lost altogether, or you wouldn't have had to search for it or prove to the world that this is it.
'The Radvaz too explains that, “it is possible that the hillazon exists but we do not recognize it or how to trap it.”'