Divers and Fish

Mark Spalding Mark.Spalding at unep-wcmc.org
Fri Nov 2 04:59:47 EST 2001

I've been following this with interest, and am a bit surprised that we haven't heard directly from the Marine Aquarium Council. Later this month they will be launching a certification scheme for the marine aquarium trade. This, I hope, will be providing certification enabling purchasers to identify fish which have been sustainably harvested, using non-damaging techniques. Whether you are strongly pro, strongly anti or on the fence this has to be a useful step?

To be valuable, a certification scheme has to be well researched and monitored. In which case the poor practises we have been hearing about in Sri Lanka would never gain certification, but in a few years might see their markets drying up...and might then clean their act up.

Surely IF this fishery could be made sustainable and non-damaging, with all the right controls and balances, then it is a potentially valuable industry for the reefs themselves? Providing a good income and foreign exchange earnings will give a value to the reefs which may ensure their preservation. Chasing the local people off reefs will reduce any interest in looking after them.



Mark Spalding, PhD
Senior Marine Ecologist                             
UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre   www.unep-wcmc.org
219 Huntingdon Road                                 Tel: +44 (0)1223 277314
Cambridge, CB3 0DL                                  Fax: +44 (0)1223 277136
UK                                    e-mail:mark.spalding at unep-wcmc.org
Research Associate
Cambridge Coastal Research Unit
Department of Geography
Downing St

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