divers and fish
bill at reefs.org
Thu Nov 1 02:09:04 EST 2001
Seems like you are blaming the aquarist for the habits of the local
collectors and as far as I know there are very few people that collect
for their own tank. In my experience in Fiji, the largest coral
exporter in the world I believe, most collection was done by local
Fijians. They then transfer the livestock to the various companies
exporting it. During my stay there I also became aware of the various
destructive habits of Fijians upon their own reefs. I heard of local
Fijians eating sea turtles even though it was illegal since January, an
article was published in the Fiji Times about how two turtles from a
research station in Hawaii were caught and 1 was eaten. I also
witnessed a sea turtle in a fish collection system in Suva. I inquired
the manager on why it was there and she replied it would be returned to
the ocean soon. I also witnessed various large breeding size fish
including specimens that would be considered exported by the aquarium
trade eaten for food. Am I saying they cannot eat these fish? No, but
eating of breeding fish will and does have an impact on the overall fish
population and variety of the reef.
While most reef keepers are not marine biologists by title many
have become lay marine biologist through the love of their hobby. While
I might defend the hobby through words I would like you to take a look
at various sites that have been created because of the hobby.
Online magazine created for hobby:
1 of the captive breeders of tropical saltwater fish:
Largest hobbyist site on the Internet: http://www.reefs.org
While you state
"I don't think the reef keepers have a clue what is going on down here, or
care how much they are contributing to the destruction of the reefs to build
"pretty little artificial reefs' that they can keep at home."
I implore you inform yourself of the current situation of reef keeping in the United States. My apologies if I sound hard or defensive, but the aquarium industry is no longer a sink hole for fish and inverts, many of the animals that are now imported are now being captive grown and bred. I invite you to join the reef keeping community as an outside observer and if you still believe we don't have a clue after 6 months of active participation then so be it.
Prasanna Weerakkody wrote:
>I am not so sure if the aquarium enthusiasts are anymore enlightened lot
>than the average diver as ursula defined. (may be there is one or two) Down
>here in Sri Lanka one of my prime activities is re-settling hundreds of
>pieces of coral broken by fish collectors (to extract the fish from their
>hiding places)supplying the aquarium industry. Post to the 1998 bleaching
>event the reefs down here have suffered tremendously with less than 50% of
>the reefs remaining and struggling to survive. there is significant loss in
>fish abundance and diversity. But the aquarium fish industry has not been so
>"understanding or aware" and continue pumping reef fauna out at the same
>rate. they still comb and squeeze the reefs for fish(and inverts) down to
>the last one left. If there is even a slight reduction to the numbers
>exported it is more due to fish collectors quitting the job as it is no
>longer viable; than because of the sensitive Reef keeper hobbyists
>voluntarily putting a brake in their demand of live exotics to give a chance
>for the reefs to recover.
>I don't think the reef keepers have a clue what is going on down here, or
>care how much they are contributing to the destruction of the reefs to build
>"pretty little artificial reefs' that they can keep at home. May be the
>recreational divers who visit the reefs could check out the reefs and make
>the aquarists aware.
>The aquarists should know that every colourful fish that livens their living
>room makes the reefs less and less colourful as the selective predation by
>the trade is leaving the reefs full of only the 'bland' fishes. think of
>what such high intensity selective extraction does to the reef ecology.
>My apologies if I sound a little hard; but it is hard to sympathize with
>aquarists when you are struggling with the long distance effects of their
>hobbies on a daily basis.
>At 07:44 AM 31-10-01 -1000, you wrote:
>>At 10:32 AM 10/31/2001 +0000, you wrote:
>>>Without recreational divers the academic community has NO hope of
>>>spreading the word about the plight of the world's reefs.
>>I believe the marine reef keeping hobby has a very large % of "reef aware"
>>individuals, perhaps more so than the diving community .. since these
>>individuals have a great deal of experience with what is necessary for
>>healthy corals to survive and grow and an appreciation of their delicacy.
>>This is also a very useful group when it comes to spreading awareness of
>>corals reefs and their inhabitants to the general public. I know several
>>hobbyists who regularly have groups of elementary students visit their
>>homes to view their reef aquaria and learn about coral reefs in general.
>>J. Charles Delbeek
>>2777 Kalakaua Ave.
>>Honolulu, HI, USA 96815
>>For directions on subscribing and unsubscribing to coral-list or the
>>digests, please visit www.coral.noaa.gov, click on Popular on the
>>menu bar, then click on Coral-List Listserver.
>For directions on subscribing and unsubscribing to coral-list or the
>digests, please visit www.coral.noaa.gov, click on Popular on the
>menu bar, then click on Coral-List Listserver.
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