divers and fish

Alina M. Szmant szmanta at uncwil.edu
Thu Nov 1 15:26:27 EST 2001


You make an excellent point that supports and improves upon my 
suggestion:  I suggest that only maricultured animals be used in the 
aquarium trade, and your improvement is the idea that the natives be helped 
and taught to be the ones doing the mariculture.  Sounds like a win-win 
situation to me!

Alina Szmant

At 10:01 AM 11/01/2001 -1000, Charles Delbeek wrote:
>At 12:23 PM 11/1/2001 -0500, you wrote:
>>Dear Bill:
>>I think that what Prasanna is intimating in her message is that 
>>collecting by whomever for the aquarium trade causes the damage because 
>>the aquarium trade provides a market for the captured fishes.  Obviously 
>>the pet store owner in Chicago or the aquarium owner in Santa Fe are not 
>>the ones destroying the reef while collecting, but by paying for the 
>>fishes with good ol' $$ they provide the economic incentive for the 
>>hard-pressed Fijians or other natives to do the destruction.  Peoples in 
>>the countries that use destructive fishing practices are usually poor and 
>>have few ways in which to make a living.  The short term benefit far 
>>outweighs the long-term damage to them.  If we don't buy, they can't 
>>sell, and then there is no use to the collecting and it will eventually stop.
>>The solution you bring up of captive breeding is what is needed for the 
>>reef aquarium industry.  Few freshwater aquarium fishes come from 
>>wild-caught stocks and maybe it is time for marine aquarists to limit 
>>their hobby to only those species that can be maricultured.
>This is a commonly suggested solution, however, it does not take into 
>account the issue of what will replace this income for villagers. If there 
>is no longer a market for their fish or corals, how then will they earn 
>money to feed their families? It is more likely that they will turn to 
>other activities that will most likely be just as, if not more damaging, 
>than what they are currently doing e.g. blast fishing, reef mining, 
>selling off coastal areas to developers, forestry companies etc etc. What 
>most of the people working on this problem and actually working in the 
>field with these people realize is that sustainable usage of reefs is the 
>best option. By educating the locals on sustaniable practices such as 
>growing their own coral or farming their own seahorses, the reef takes on 
>added value and creates a greater demand for protection. While captive 
>breeding offers the potential to alleviate some of the demand for fishes, 
>the % of captive reared fishes currently available is minuscule and does 
>not come close to meeting the demand.
>J. Charles Delbeek
>Aquarium Biologist
>Waikiki Aquarium
>2777 Kalakaua Ave.
>Honolulu, HI, USA 96815
>808-923-1771 FAX

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