divers and fish/research

Wade dlehmann at nc.rr.com
Thu Nov 1 11:15:00 EST 2001

 From the perspective of a researcher wishing to delve into the hard core 
science behind the reefs, I am throwing my vote in for maintaining a 
sustainable hobby.  The advances in rearing, propagating, and breeding both 
fish and corals do not come from scientists. And while we might thoroughly 
enjoy field work, we cannot expect to achieve the same reproducibility in 
biochemical and molecular information as in the laboratory setting.  A 
distinct lack of control exists. So, as scientists, I propose that we 
support a sustainable hobby.  Let the hobbiests who "love" their animals 
continue to provide input and leaps forward in the technical know-how of 
keeping these animals so that in the future, not only can we do solid 
research, but we can also begin programs of restoration.

It seems to me after reading these posts that everyone seems to have a 
somewhat blanket view of the whole process of collection and keeping.  A 
couple of points I feel that should be made: It is blanket accusations 
(from both sides of the issue) which cause problems and many hobbiests and 
organizations are working hard to set up sustainable programs.  I would 
urge both sides to look at all the angles. Collections for reef aquaria, as 
we all know, is but one aspect of a much larger picture.

Wade Lehmann

Aquatic Toxicology
Dept. of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology
NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695

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