Divers and Fish

Craig Bingman cbingman at panix.com
Fri Nov 2 18:36:58 EST 2001

On Fri, 2 Nov 2001, Mike Risk wrote:

> I would like to support Prasanna's viewpoint here. It is excessively naive
> for those in the aquarium trade to claim that their industry:
>     -has little impact (when done properly)
>     -somehow converts citizens into reef advocates.

> It is precisely these arguments that have been used to support "selective"
> harvesting of tropical hardwoods. The present aquarium live trade, in both
> fish and inverts, is not sustainable.

There is a big difference between maintaining a live aquarium fish or
invertebrate in one's home and having a dead piece of wood in the form of
furnature in one's home.  The analogy you have made is better with the
harvest coral skeletons, seahorses and other marine life for the
manufacture of dead curios, ornaments and medicinal purposes.

If you want to keep them alive, and everyone who buys a live fish has some
interest in maintaining it in live condition, then you need to learn some
biology and chemistry.  If you want to keep a reef aquarium, you are
absolutely forced to confront many of the same problems that confront
corals in the wild (eutrophication, disease, calcium carbonate saturation
state, importance of herbivores, etc.)

You are required to learn absolutely nothing about hardwood conservation
issues and issues confronting the survivial of tropical hardwoods by
having a piece of dead furnature in your home.  Certainly, some
exceptional individuals *might* be inspired to learn something about
tropical hardwood conservation when they buy a piece of hardwood
furnature.  One absolutely *must* learn about issues relevant to the fate
of reefs when one seeks to maintain a successful reef aquarium.  It is not


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